1 Thursday, 13 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: MIRSAD KUCANIN [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] We left off discussing your statement of 1996,
11 Witness, and on page 2 you say that in fact, the barracks were not
12 targeted frequently and the civilians weren't usually targeted near the
13 barracks, and a high angle of focus indicates that the targets in fact
14 were civilians.
15 Now, how can you say on the basis of the angle of targeting that
16 the targets were actually civilians? Where's the logics of that on the
17 basis of the angle of firing? How were you able to determine that they
18 were civilians that were targeted?
19 A. Well, the street, when I mention the barracks, they are the Marsal
20 Tito barracks in Sarajevo.
21 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. I didn't ask you the name of the
22 barracks. I'm just saying that how do you know on the basis of the high
23 angle of fire that you can -- or elevation, that you can determine that
24 they were civilians, since you are an expert?
25 A. Now, whether that was correctly translated in the statement, I
1 don't know, but it does mean that on the basis of the angle of fire,
2 civilians were targeted. I probably thought they were coming down from
3 those facilities where the Serbian army was stationed. That was the only
4 path that the civilians passed by the barracks, and they were targeted.
5 The barracks weren't targeted because the soldiers had left the barracks,
6 so there was no reason to shell it. Just the civilians passing by, and
7 that was the only means of communication between the upper part of the
8 city and the lower part.
9 Q. But you can't say on the angle of fire and direction of fire that
10 the targets were actually civilians.
11 A. Well, what I said now was probably --
12 Q. You mean there was a translation error?
13 A. Well, I'll check it out in the statement.
14 Q. All right. Fine. Now, tell me this, please: On page 2 of your
15 1996 statement, you go on to speak about the killing of a little girl Nena
16 Brkic [as interpreted] was her -- Elma Jakupovic, and you say that she was
17 the casualty of random fire and that that is what you think. And in the
18 one but last paragraph you say that some of the neighbours accused their
19 Serb neighbours from a certain house of killing that girl.
20 Now, tell me, please, was that an indicator that the problem of
21 sniping, sniper fire, which quite certainly was one of the most terrible
22 events, was manipulated to turn fury against blameless neighbours of
23 different faith? So it wasn't a crime that they had actually perpetrated.
24 A. Yes, that's quite right, and that's what I wrote down, and I said
25 yesterday that I really was objective, and I insisted at the time because
1 the neighbour said the shooting came from here, and we had Boro Stankovic,
2 the best ballistics expert, with us. He's died since. But anyway, he was
3 a ballistics expert, and we carried out a ballistic investigation and
4 really did establish that the shooting couldn't have come from that house
5 because the angle fire wasn't right and the trajectory of the bullet
6 couldn't have come from that house.
7 So we did this in proper fashion and established that. And
8 according to our analysis, I would say and we would say at the time, the
9 team said at the time, that it was non-selective firing at a civilian
10 settlement according and judging by this angle and that it just happened
11 that this bullet happened to hit that girl.
12 Q. Now, on page 3, paragraph 1, of your 1996 statement, when you say
13 -- talk about the death of Elvir Brkic, you say, "As far as I remember,
14 the bullet came from Miroslav Kromolj street and an old Serb was killed on
15 the same day, an elderly Serb lady was wounded by a sniper around the same
17 Now, can you say that this is being precise if you say that a
18 bullet came from a green house? Is that a precise assertion on the part
19 of somebody conducting an investigation?
20 A. I said this in 1996, and I didn't have my documents to talk to the
21 investigators on that occasion, so I assume that's how that sentence came
22 to be there. But there is a report -- that's how that greenish building
23 came to be included there.
24 But as I say, there's a report, and as far as I remember, there is
25 a mistake here. It was elderly Serb lady. I'm not sure whether it says
1 so in the B/C/S. I think it says man, but it was an elderly Serb lady.
2 Q. And on page 3, paragraph 2 once again of your 1996 statement, you
3 say that you visited an elderly man who lived, and I'm quoting you here,
4 "In a flat which was shot at a hundred times, a hundred impacts on the
5 flat," that that was intense targeting.
6 Now, if the flat was targeted 100 times, wasn't that an ordinary
7 exchange of fire across the conflict line or front line, or was it sniping
8 fire? Why would a sniper have to fire at one flat 100 times? It's an
9 exchange of gunfire, that's what it was, across the front line. Isn't
10 that right, Mr. Kucanin?
11 A. Well, that flat is opposite Miroslav Kromolj street.
12 Q. Is it up at the front line, the confrontation line?
13 A. Well, there was no BH army line there, and that building was in a
14 sort of no-man's land and the man didn't want to leave his flat, he had
15 been living there all the time. And we really did find bullet holes, that
16 many bullet holes in the walls, not the shells and remnants of shells. We
17 found bullet holes and were quite surprised to find that many. And we
18 wanted to move the man from there, but he didn't want to leave his flat.
19 And when we took him to hospital because he was injured on the occasion,
20 we had to wait for him get ready for half an hour, to collect his things
21 and belongings and so on.
22 Q. Was that at the confrontation line, the separation line between
23 the two sides?
24 A. I said that this house was all on its own between the two sides.
25 Q. So it was an exchange of gunfire, no sniping.
1 A. Well, not from the building the man was in. I --
2 Q. Tell me, please, in all these statements you seem to have the
3 number 100. You always have the figure of 100 in your statements. You
4 say that after the police stations were divided into Serb and Muslim ones
5 there were about 100 policemen left. Then on another occasion, you say
6 the recruits were about 100 inspectors. Then the 2000 statement says once
7 again that there were 100 different cases describing an incident. And
8 then you go on to say that, "In three and a half years I spent -- I
9 conducted more than 100 investigations of different cases."
10 So is that a way you like to express yourself or was this number
11 and figure of 100 really the figure that was present on all these
13 A. Well, it's always a parameter to go by. It's a good thumb rule,
14 and you say sort of 100. Now, whether it was 120 or 95 or whatever, I
15 always said approximately, roughly 100. So it might be a coincidence, I
16 don't know, that it seems to be 100 every time.
17 Q. Yes. When you refer to different subjects, different matters.
18 There's a coincidence, you say.
19 Now, in your 1995 statement, for instance, and that's on page 341,
20 the last digits, you speak about an elderly man who was wounded on the
21 balcony of his flat and you say on the wall across the balcony there were
22 about 100 bullets. Was that the same man you mentioned a moment ago with
23 the 100 bullets?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So that flat was the one that was hit 100 times; is that right?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. So it means the same man. You're talking about the same man and
3 the same flat?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In your 1995 statement you talk about the investigation with
6 respect to the wounding of a little boy, and you had established that he
7 was shot by the aggressor positions from Przulj's house, and I'm quoting
8 you there, from your statement. And then again on page 338, paragraph 4,
9 you say the shots were without doubt shot from that position. That means
10 that you established the place the firing was done from when you say
11 without a doubt; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. However in the next paragraph you say: "I don't know what the
14 results from the ballistic investigation were because each person on the
15 investigating team has his own responsibility and compiles his own
17 Now, I'm asking you how can you say with certainty where the shots
18 came from if you don't know the results from the ballistics report in the
19 first place?
20 A. When an investigation is conducted on the site, on the spot, I
21 write down in my notebook what we state out loud and what the members of
22 the team agree with. Now, there can be certain differences of opinion on
23 the part of the ballistics investigator. I don't have their findings.
24 They go to court or to the prosecutor's office or wherever they're sent
25 to. But on that occasion we did manage to establish, and we had grounds
1 to do so, that there were two holes, two bullet holes coming from the same
2 direction. And the ballistics expert has a piece of equipment, machinery,
3 and he places two points on the two bullet holes --
4 Q. Yes, I understand that. I don't want you to explain what a
5 ballistics expert does, what devices he uses, but here you say that
6 without a doubt the shots came from those positions, and then straight
7 after you say that you didn't have a ballistics report. So what do you
8 need a ballistics report, an investigation for, if it is not to ascertain
9 where the shots came from?
10 So without knowledge of what the report contained, you say without
11 doubt that the shots came from that building. So apart from all the --
12 apart from ballistics reports, all the other reports are inconclusive.
13 A. I said that on the spot we were able to establish what happened,
14 but I do give myself a little leeway and say that I would like to wait for
15 the ballistics report. So that's all I could do.
16 Q. All right. I understand your explanation. Now, speaking about
17 the boy's injury in paragraph 5 on page 337, you say the second bullet
18 shot from the same artillery piece flew across the front of a cafe. How
19 can you claim that the second bullet was shot from the same weapon that
20 was used to fire the first bullet?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please make pauses between
22 question and answer. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MAY: The interpreters ask you both to pause after a
24 question or answer before you continue. Otherwise, it makes interpreting
25 very difficult. Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I will, Mr. May.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this doesn't seem to be clear
3 whether the second shot came from the same weapon, as it says here
4 according to a witness. So this refers to the bullet, a bullet fired from
5 the same weapon.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Yes. You -- that's how it reads.
8 A. Now, I don't think that's what I actually said. I didn't put it
9 that way. It says: "According to the witness testimony, it would appear
10 that it was from the same weapon." But I think there were two shots and
11 that that's what that refers to, not to two shots fired from the same
13 Q. Yes. That seems to be unclear. But speaking of the shelling of
14 Trscanska street on the 26th of October, you say at the end of the page
15 ending in the digits 338, the penultimate paragraph, that, "The direction
16 from which a shell came could be ascertained almost immediately on the
17 basis of experience and traces left on the spot." Is that right?
18 A. Yes, that is right.
19 Q. Now, tell me, please, how come in your statement in the last
20 paragraph on page 338 with respect to the shelling of Trscanska street, it
21 says that the shell was fired from the west -- from a west north-westerly
22 direction and in the next case it could have just come from the north
23 north-west. So the same shell from two different directions, west
24 north-west, and the other direction.
25 A. I'm not quite clear on this. It's not clear to me.
1 Q. It's not clear to me either, but never mind. Let's move on. Now,
2 on page 339 and 340 - and I'm giving you the last digits there - you speak
3 of the shelling of the Simon Bolivar primary school, and then you say on
4 that page, 339, paragraph 7, that on that day Sarajevo was intensively
5 shelled, so intensively that the members of the UNPROFOR themselves, as
6 custom would have it in situations of that kind, didn't turn up on time to
7 conduct an investigation.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And it was the Bosnian Serb army that did the shooting from a
10 position where it was able to see the school as on the palm on one's hand.
11 You could see the children and people going into the school.
12 Now, tell us, please, which people were going into the school?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Not children, interpreter's correction.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Which people could be seen going into the school?
16 A. Well, it doesn't say that here. Perhaps that's my omission. But
17 in that particular school, the people had set up an improvised water pump
18 and had set up some barriers made of old cars.
19 Q. So it wasn't a school that was actually being used, and it wasn't
20 a question of children at all. There were no children. It wasn't a
21 school functioning as a school; right?
22 A. That's right. The school was completely destroyed and devastated,
23 and in the hall of the school, the people set up a water reservoir there,
24 and the people who were injured were civilians who were going into that
25 hall to collect some water.
1 Q. In the last paragraph on page 339 and the first paragraph on the
2 next page, you say that ballistics experts found the tail of the shell,
3 carried out tests, and took very precise measurements. In several other
4 cases as it follows from your statement, there were no ballistic analyses;
5 is that right?
6 A. Wherever circumstances allowed, they were done. When it was not
7 possible, they didn't do these tests.
8 Q. Can you tell us roughly what was the ratio between the
9 investigations that were done and not?
10 A. In majority of cases, these tests were done. Maybe in 70 per cent
11 of the cases.
12 Q. Very well, Mr. Kucanin. Does this mean that if each shell is
13 examined then one couldn't talk about any continuous intensive fire
14 because you couldn't have a team of experts coming out to examine each and
15 every shell and every target that is hit by the other side.
16 A. When an investigation is done on the spot, the basic data are
17 taken down. If there are traces found of the shell, the remnants of the
18 shell, the tail fin, the crater that a shell leaves is examined, et
19 cetera. These shell parts are taken to a laboratory.
20 Q. Yes, I understand that, but if that is being done, an inquest on
21 site, then laboratory tests and all these other examinations, doesn't that
22 all together indicate it couldn't have been intensive fire? If each and
23 every case could be so carefully examined under those very difficult
24 conditions with a shortage of manpower and so on?
25 A. Most cases were examined in detail.
1 Q. Very well. That's what I wanted to hear. Talking about the
2 shelling of the 9th of November in 1993, 342, paragraph 6, the shell that
3 fell on the school in Alipasino Polje, you say it was fired from the
4 south-western direction. In the same paragraph further on, you say that
5 ballistic expert Adnan Tuzovic told you that everything points to the
6 conclusion that the position must have been in the north-west. So where
7 did the shell come from; from the south-west or the north-west? Because
8 that shell couldn't have come from both those directions.
9 A. These are two different cases, two shells.
10 Q. I see. So these are two cases. Thank you, Witness. Now, could
11 you explain for me -- I have several questions. On pages 344 and 345 of
12 your 1995 statement, you describe the killing of a man called Mile
13 Vasiljevic, who was obviously a Serb judging by his name. Though because
14 of the shooting, you couldn't even take away the body, and still less
15 engage in the necessary analyses, you still feel that you were able to
16 establish with accuracy where the shot had come from, and you say it was
17 an area controlled by the Bosnian Serbs.
18 And it says on this page: "As we had no protection, we couldn't
19 do proper ballistic tests, but it was clear from where the shot had come
20 that killed Vasiljevic." Is that right?
21 And then you say that it was a 7.9 millimetre calibre bullet. And
22 then you saw on Serb television - I assume you mean about Pale - that
23 Vojislav Seselj referred to a 7.9 millimetre calibre and that he
24 personally had fired at Muslims in Sarajevo on that day. And on that
25 basis, you came to the conclusion that he himself had killed Vasiljevic.
1 "According to the indications of our police, one can say that it was
2 obvious that Vasiljevic was killed by Seselj." Is that what you said? I
3 am reading what it says in your statement.
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Tell me, please, are you joking or do you really think that on the
6 basis of establishing the direction of fire without any ballistic analysis
7 and then on the basis of a TV statement, you come to the conclusion that
8 it was quite obvious that Vojislav Seselj had killed this Vasiljevic? So
9 I have to ask you, are you joking, or could you have said something like
10 that as an expert?
11 A. These are the indications. And in view of all the events that
12 took place on that day when Vojislav Seselj was at Grbavica, he wore a
13 sweater with a particular pattern, he was on television wearing that same
14 sweater with a Browning, and I remember he boasted, saying, "Muslims know
15 best how they fared today." The only victim in town that day was this
16 foreman Mile Vasiljevic.
17 Q. So that is how you come to that conclusion.
18 A. None of this was proven. These are just certain indications. It
19 is not any conclusion, any firm conclusion or any finding. It's nothing.
20 As for Mile Vasiljevic, the late Mile Vasiljevic, he was going
21 from one side to the other. The witness saw him walking, and when he was
22 hit, his right side was towards Grbavica, and he was hit in the spot
23 described in the report. He fell. He was alive for quite a long time.
24 He called for help. No one could approach him until we arrived, and with
25 the help of UNPROFOR, we pulled him out. I have footage of that incident
1 when we pulled out the body.
2 Q. I understand that. So you were not able to establish what you say
3 in the statement.
4 A. When we pulled out the body, we saw where the entry and exit
5 wounds were. And on the basis of witness statements and his movements, we
6 came to that conclusion.
7 Q. Very well, Mr. Kucanin. Now, please tell me, further on on page
8 349, third paragraph, talking about sniping from Grbavica, from the
9 Metalka building the four skyscrapers in Meljvina [phoen] street and the
10 three skyscrapers of the shopping centre, and I'm quoting you: "For a
11 long time we couldn't establish that the fire was coming from those
12 skyscrapers. We thought people were being killed with snipers from the
13 Jewish cemetery. Later on, with the help of ballistic analysis, we
14 established that the fire was coming from those skyscrapers."
15 So you needed time and ballistic analysis to establish that the
16 fire was coming from those skyscrapers; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then further on, you say you discovered that the fire was
19 coming from the skyscrapers because the killing of one man was
20 coincidentally filmed, and this clip was later analysed and this helped in
21 locating the source of fire.
22 A. Yes, it helped, among other things.
23 Q. So it was so difficult to establish the source of fire even when
24 it was coming from a skyscraper, and there are not that many skyscrapers
25 in Sarajevo --
1 A. Yes, there are.
2 Q. Obviously you first had to look around and then you needed expert
3 analysis to be able to establish the facts.
4 A. I will give you an example to explain this. There were two
5 crossroads that were in jeopardy. Containers were put there. People were
6 always crossing at the engineering institute. The fire was coming from
7 Trebevic, the Jewish cemetery, and Gornji Kovacici, and no one even dreamt
8 that, for instance, a father of my friend was killed like that. Everyone
9 thought the fire came from up there.
10 Q. But in view of the difficulty in establishing the source of fire
11 coming from the skyscrapers, whereas on the other hand in a number of
12 cases you referred to in your statement you say that without any problems
13 and frequently without ballistic analyses, you were able to establish with
14 certainty where the fire was coming from.
15 So as both is not possible, tell me, is it possible to establish
16 the source of fire after a serious and detailed analysis or can it be done
17 offhand, as was done on a number of occasions according to your statement?
18 A. When we're talking about shelling, the direction or the trajectory
19 of the bullet can be established on the basis of the traces in the
20 concrete. That is as far as the direction is concerned.
21 Other ballistic analyses determine the angle of impact and the
22 other detailed elements.
23 Q. Tell me, do you know anything at all about various actions by
24 forces of the army or the police of Bosnia and Herzegovina on their own
25 targets in Sarajevo?
1 A. Speculations along that kind is something I heard mostly on Serb
2 television. I did not carry out a single inquest in the course of my
3 career that proved that to be true.
4 Q. As you say that you heard such reports on Serbian television, let
5 me give you a source that is a non-Serb source, which makes the same
7 On the 22nd of August, 1992, the London Independent says, and I'll
8 read out what it says and tell me whether that concurs with your own
9 knowledge or are these also speculations?
10 "The United Nations officials and senior western military officers
11 [Previous translation continues] ... [In English] some of the worst recent
12 killings in Sarajevo including the massacre of at least 16 persons in a
13 bread queue were carried out by the city's mainly Muslim defenders, not
14 Serb besiegers, as a propaganda ploy to win war sympathy and military
16 [Interpretation] And then reference is made to various
17 confidential reports circulating at the UN in New York as confidential
19 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with these allegations.
20 The suggestion is that the massacre of 16 persons in a bread queue
21 was carried out by the defenders. Do you know anything any such incident?
22 Is there any truth in these sort of allegations?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to ask for a more
24 precise indication of the spot where the massacre occurred and the date.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. It is the well-known incident when 16 persons were killed in the
2 bread line, queueing up for bread. And this was attributed to the Serbs,
3 but there is every indication to believe that this was done by the forces
4 and the police of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You remember that. It was the
5 reason for the introduction of sanctions, the immediate cause or, rather,
6 the excuse for them.
7 A. You haven't told me where this massacre occurred. Which was the
8 spot and the date?
9 JUDGE MAY: Just rather than go into an argument, because time is
10 short, do you know of any such incident in which the -- it's alleged that
11 the defenders killed 16 people in a bread queue? Have you heard of any
12 such incident?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know of any single
14 case of our own army killing our own people. I can't believe that.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, your time is now running out. You've
16 got time for two more questions.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Time passes very quickly, Mr. May.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Do you know that a team of the UN close to the Kosevo hospital was
20 an eyewitness in Sarajevo of a Bosnian crew positioning a mortar within
21 the hospital compound, hitting Serb positions, then packing up and
22 fleeing, upon which TV teams come to see how the Serbs retaliated? And
23 then they give the explanation that the hospital was targeted.
24 A. If they said that somewhere in their report, why not believe them?
25 I'm not acquainted with those facts.
1 Q. Tell me, as you were a policeman in Sarajevo, who was the first
2 victim, the first killing that occurred in Sarajevo? Is it true that the
3 day after the referendum there was an attack on a wedding ceremony of the
4 Serbs in the centre of Sarajevo where Nikola Gardovic, the bride's father,
5 was killed and another priest? Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And is it true that Nikola Gardovic was killed at the door of the
8 Orthodox church and that he was in fact the first victim of the war in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. As far as I know, he was killed at Bas Carsija and not at the door
11 of the Orthodox church. The column was moving, the procession was going
12 from Bas Carsija towards the Orthodox church.
13 Q. And did that killing for the Serbs send a message: In spite of
14 the constitution of Yugoslavia and Bosnia, we have declared that we want
15 independence and we can kill you now? Is that -- was that the first
16 victim? Was that how violence started in Sarajevo?
17 JUDGE MAY: That's a pure comment, it's a matter of argument and
18 it's not a proper question for the witness.
19 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] As we have a busy schedule today, I'll do my best
23 to be brief.
24 Mr. Kucanin, I will just refer to two points from your statement
25 from the 4th of September. The first page, last paragraph, where you said
1 that, "After the division of the police, I have to point out that all
2 police units sought to remain objective and professional in their work
3 regardless of the fact that there was war waging around them -- raging
4 around them."
5 Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then towards the end of that first paragraph on page 3, you
8 say that: "A part of the reserve police joined the army." Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then in the last sentence, you say: "The reserve policemen
11 were not even issued uniforms. They fought in civilian clothes and in
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And just one further point in connection with your statement, page
15 4. Yesterday, you said that it was possible to leave the town freely,
16 whereas in the third paragraph here you explain that in great detail, and
17 you said: "The only way to leave the town was the well-known tunnel. I
18 passed through it for the first time in October 1993, and I think it was
19 opened a short time before that. The regular and military police
20 controlled the tunnel on the city side. I believe that at the other side
21 there was control too. We had cards like passes that were issued by the
22 minister of the interior. I had a pass because I had to work on the other
23 side. Civilians were allowed to leave, but in view of the tunnel, the
24 number of people who left was really limited."
25 Is that how it was?
1 A. First of all, I didn't say that you could leave the town freely
2 yesterday. That was Slobodan Milosevic's statement. But I was saying
3 that it was not possible to leave the town freely.
4 Q. Not without a pass, and only a limited number of people could be
5 given such passes, as you stated here.
6 A. This applies to the tunnel. Yesterday we were talking about other
7 things. As regards the tunnel, it is correct.
8 Q. Was it possible to leave the town without a pass?
9 A. You mean the tunnel?
10 Q. I mean in general.
11 A. The only exit was through the tunnel.
12 Q. I don't want to dwell on your statements, but you said on several
13 occasions -- in the long statement you gave between the 10th and 12th of
14 November, 1995, you say that where the people fell casualty to snipers
15 there was never any military operation taking place, and you repeat that
16 many times. You say that where people were targeted by snipers and hit,
17 there were no military operations going on; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, do you know or have you heard of the following people:
20 Muratovic and Karavelic, who throughout the time were very well-known
21 figures in Sarajevo?
22 A. Muratovic? Could you give me his first name, please?
23 Q. I just have the surnames. Muratovic and Karavelic. How about
25 A. Yes, Karavelic rings a bell.
1 Q. Because a very respected UN observer who was here in court here a
2 few days ago said that Muratovic had told him that sniper activities were
3 organised fully and that, "when they kill one, we kill one," and that
4 that's how the balance was maintained. Do you know anything about that?
5 And also that the snipers of the Bosnian army or police shot at --
6 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time. You're asked about a man called
7 Muratovic and his statement. Do you know anything about that,
8 Mr. Kucanin?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't. Muratovic is a
10 frequent surname in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so I really don't know who the man
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. But as a policeman yourself, did you know that sniper activity on
14 the part of the Bosnians was also organised on a reciprocal basis? Do you
15 know that as a policeman?
16 A. Sir, I said in my statement that I worked in the -- in -- I was a
17 plainclothes policeman, so my job was to prevent crime in Sarajevo.
18 Q. Thank you. By chance, there was another respected UN force
19 member, Major Thomas, in court here recently, and I made a note of that,
20 he said the snipers were under the control of the Ministry of the
21 Interior. That means you. Is that true and correct, that the snipers
22 were mostly under the control of the police force or, rather, the Ministry
23 of the Interior, a member of which you were?
24 A. Well, it seems to be quite unimaginable that anybody could have
25 said that, but I really don't know. I wasn't a high-ranking official of
1 any kind. My job was to prevent crime and uncover the perpetrators of
2 crimes. I would go out on the spot to make on-site investigations, and so
4 Q. Thank you. Now, yesterday you mentioned Markale, I don't know
5 which, the first or the second, but you don't mention Markale in any of
6 these statements, whereas yesterday you said that you knew for sure that
7 at the Markale, the ones you mentioned yesterday, there was shooting from
8 the Serb side. Can you explain to Their Honours how you came by that
9 conclusion. That is my last question for you.
10 A. I don't remember having mentioned Markale at all yesterday.
11 Q. Well, if you don't remember, then I thank you, and that's all from
12 me. Thank you.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Ierace:
14 Q. Mr. Kucanin, you were asked some questions about a shelling
15 incident that you referred to in your statement made in 1995, in
16 particular references in that statement to the direction of fire, and I
17 think you said that you were unclear about the references. There may have
18 been a problem.
19 In that statement, you refer to a report that you compiled about
20 that incident.
21 MR. IERACE: I ask the witness be shown a three-page document.
22 Your Honours, I don't have copies of this. We've tried to obtain them in
23 time for re-examination, but they haven't yet arrived. We will provide
24 copies at a later point.
25 Q. Do you recognise the document in front of you as being a photocopy
1 of your report in relation to this incident?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Would you please go to the last paragraph of that report, and do
4 you see there a reference to the direction of fire?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... direction?
7 A. Well, I can read out something that I tried to explain a moment
8 ago. The report or minutes from the on-site investigation and everything
9 that was conducted, you have to keep documents of this kind and records of
10 this kind. It is the only meritorious document.
11 And it says here that it was established that from the north
12 north-westerly direction a mortar of a 60 calibre was ascertained and that
13 is what exploded.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Up in a tree.
16 Q. Now, you were also asked questions about some observations
17 recorded in your 1996 statement.
18 When you signed that statement, did you in fact sign a version in
19 the English language which was interpreted to you so that you could check
20 its accuracy?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I will read to you the relevant portion of that statement as it
23 appears in that original English version. Please listen to it, and if
24 there is anything incorrect in what you hear, please tell us. This is in
25 relation to civilians being shot in the area of the Marsal Tito barracks.
1 I read, for the record, from the -- I'll read the fifth paragraph
2 from that statement: "The area on this street between the Holiday Inn and
3 the Bridge of Brotherhood and Unity was well known as a sniping area. It
4 is difficult to give numbers, but almost every day there were casualties.
5 On certain occasions, the targeting was so intense the whole population
6 would have to use alternative routes. Although there is a military
7 barracks on the other side of the street, the street itself is rather
8 wide, and the sniper positions are well elevated, so the targeting was
9 definitely at civilians. The barracks, in fact, were not hit frequently.
10 Also, the civilians were not necessarily hit in front of the barracks. In
11 particular, the high angle of fire indicates that the civilians were the
13 Is there anything in that paragraph which is incorrect?
14 A. No. High angle of fire means that they had to fire from those
15 facilities, from that locality, downwards. Had the angle been lower, they
16 would have fired at the barracks. That's what I meant.
17 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. Kucanin. Nothing further. Excuse me.
18 Your Honours, in relation to the material tendered in respect of
19 this witness, could I clarify that tabs 2 and 10 were tendered under seal.
20 They should be tendered under seal.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll do that. And do you want the last report
22 that you referred to? There was a report --
23 MR. IERACE: In relation to the incident of the 26th of October.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Do you want to admit that?
25 MR. IERACE: I don't require that to be tendered.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Kucanin, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for coming
3 to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE MAY: While the witness is going out, let me deal with some
7 administrative matters, if I may.
8 If the legal officer would come up, please.
9 There was a request yesterday that we renumber Exhibit D216, the
10 witness statement of Major Thomas, but having thought about it, our
11 practice has been to admit such statements as Defence exhibits, and that's
12 what we'll do. We'll continue with that. So it remains D216.
13 At some stage this morning we need to discuss next Tuesday's work.
14 This may be a convenient moment to deal with it.
15 MR. NICE: I was going to raise a couple of matters on the witness
16 list but I think Mr. Ierace has one or two other matters to deal with
17 before perhaps I can turn to that.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Your Honours. Would this be a convenient
20 time to formally tender material which was admitted by the Trial Chamber
21 by order of the 7th of October? It's material which relates to four
22 witnesses from the Galic trial, some exhibits, and the transcript. If I
23 give the four names and perhaps exhibit numbers could be allocated.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What I think we'll do is we'll do it one at a
25 time, please. If you would give the name and we will give it a number.
1 This is under Rule 92 bis, I take it.
2 MR. IERACE: Yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: These are statements which we admitted. We'll do it
4 one at a time and then we'll have them. Let us first of all get the
5 numbers and then we'll have them. Yes. Would you give the first number
6 -- the first name, please.
7 MR. IERACE: First name is Carl Harding. There are seven tabs,
8 all to be tendered publicly.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll give that a number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Number 587.
11 JUDGE MAY: And perhaps we can have those, please.
12 Yes, the next, please.
13 MR. IERACE: Eldar Hafizovic, six tabs, all to be tendered
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 588.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the next.
17 MR. IERACE: Milan Mandilovic, two tabs for public tender.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 599.
19 MR. IERACE: Is that 99 or 89?
20 THE REGISTRAR: 589. Sorry.
21 MR. IERACE: And the final name is John Hamill, seven tabs for
22 public tender.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 590.
24 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: May I address you on the witness listing in private
2 session? And I hope that the other witness is being brought to outside
3 court so as not to waste time.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 [Private session]
12 Pages 28982 to 28990 – redacted – private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session.
10 MR. NICE: The next witness is Colonel Franken, please. While
11 he's coming in, his evidence is available to you in 92 -- Colonel Franken,
12 please. His evidence is available to you in the form of prior testimony
13 under 92 bis, which has been granted with cross-examination, and there's
14 also a further short statement dated the 17th of October which deals with
15 extracts from a video compilation and some documents.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
19 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you'd take a seat.
21 WITNESS: ROBERT FRANKEN
22 MR. NICE: I trust Your Honours have a binder. On this occasion
23 it may be sensible if the binder is given four different exhibit numbers
24 because, as you'll see, the different parts have different -- all start
25 with tabs 1 and then sequentially. The -- if that's acceptable, then the
1 first part would have the next exhibit number and is in, I think, ten
3 THE REGISTRAR: The next Exhibit number is 591.
4 MR. NICE: The following part, which starts with the full
5 transcript of the video which we're not going to play, is in six tabs.
6 And may that become 592?
7 THE REGISTRAR: The Exhibit number is 592.
8 MR. NICE: The third part, which begins with the witness's 17th of
9 October witness statement, is in four tabs, and may that become 593.
10 JUDGE KWON: Three tabs or four tabs?
11 MR. NICE: Four tabs I'm told. I've only got three but I gather
12 there's a fourth one. Yes, the fourth tab --
13 THE REGISTRAR: The next --
14 MR. NICE: -- is either with you or coming.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Okay. The next Exhibit number is 593.
16 MR. NICE: And then the last part of the bundle is in 38 tabs, and
17 maybe that can become 594.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The next Exhibit number is 594.
19 MR. NICE: Your Honours, with Mr. Waespi who is going to help me,
20 we're going to take the evidence of this witness in chief extremely
21 briefly and to have in mind, of course, that the accused has in his recent
22 questioning acknowledged that terrible crimes were committed in
23 Srebrenica, so that to some degree matters may not fall for debate that
24 otherwise could have done.
25 The -- just to give the most rudimentary context to the witness's
1 evidence and make sense for those viewing, he was the deputy commander of
2 the Dutch Battalion at Srebrenica between January and July of 1995, second
3 in command to Lieutenant Colonel Karremans at the time.
4 DutchBat, as it was known, being in the Srebrenica enclave for the
5 purposes of deterring attacks, demilitarising the Muslims, and supporting
6 non-governmental organisations and other organisations.
7 Amongst other points that the witness has made in his prior
8 testimony is that demilitarisation of those zones wasn't complete but then
9 the witness says circumstances were so dangerous that he wouldn't have
10 dreamt of handing over his personal weapons had he been in that position
11 and obliged or invited so to do.
12 In July of 1995, and I trust the Chamber has a summary from which
13 I'm drawing some of this material, on the 11th of July, the witness
14 received a report from B Company. It may be helpful if the Chamber turns
15 in Exhibit 591, first of all, to tab 2, which gives a map of the overall
16 area with which we're concerned.
17 And perhaps the usher could lay some of these on the overhead
18 projector to make sense of it as it comes along.
19 But tab 2 shows the considerable area with which the Chamber is
20 concerned when dealing with the crimes committed at Srebrenica.
21 Srebrenica is, of course, here in the south of the map, south-east, with
22 the border running up north-south and with points of materiality, places
23 where people were executed and places where people were buried, right the
24 way up some 40 kilometres past Zvornik to the north.
25 Srebrenica itself is a town but the word is used to describe the
1 wider area and you're particularly concerned, of course, with Potocari
2 four kilometres or thereabouts, a bit more, I think, to the north of
4 B Company was located in the centre of Srebrenica town, and the
5 other DutchBat base with which the Chamber's probably already familiar and
6 is well known was at Potocari. And thus it was on the 11th of July that
7 this witness was told by the commander of B Company in the centre of
8 Srebrenica town that there was shelling on the town of civilians and
9 indeed that B Company wasn't able to control its own compound, and the
10 witness approved his request to abandon the compound there, which he did,
11 moving to Potocari.
12 At the same time, the road to Potocari being so exposed to attack
13 from surrounding gun emplacements of the Bosnian Serbs that the witness
14 organised a safe route for refugees to work their way through so far as
15 they could to the Potocari base, and it was to protect the refugees so far
16 as they were able that DutchBat was reduced. Should be borne in mind that
17 there were as few as 150 combat-trained soldiers for DutchBat working on
18 16 per cent, or thereabouts, of the ammunition and arms that they should
19 normally have had, they finding themselves now in the centre of a
20 community at Potocari of some 30.000 civilians, some within their own
21 compound, the others outside.
22 The Dutch were threatened that if they didn't stop airstrikes
23 which were being delivered elsewhere, that they would be fired on both in
24 their compound and that the refugees would also be fired upon - the
25 civilian refugees, let it be understood - and at this time, the Bosnian
1 Serbs had already taken Dutch prisoners of war or Dutch soldiers as
2 prisoners of war, and they were also threatened with death in certain
4 The VRS had some 35 pieces of artillery, including a couple of
5 multiple-launch rocket systems at their disposal.
6 On the 12th of July - paragraph 11 of the summary if the Chamber
7 is following it - there was an attack on the compound at a time when the
8 commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Karremans was meeting Mladic in
9 Bratunac. Efforts were made to assist the refugees, and the witness
10 organised escorts, but the sort of problems he faced at that time included
11 the fact that the Serbs just took from the Dutch 15 or 16 jeeps. There's
12 really no doubt, and the witness could confirm this, really as to who was
13 in charge and how limited was the ability of DutchBat at that time to
14 achieve very much of their mandate.
15 The majority of refugees in Potocari were women and children, but
16 there were certainly some 300 or so men in the compound and 5 to 600 men
17 outside for whose fate the witness was extremely anxious because Mladic
18 had told DutchBat that he was going to separate men from the age of 16 to
19 60 out from other refugees in order to check if they were war criminals.
20 And so it was to happen that they were separated out, at least.
21 And if we look on in the tabs of Exhibit 591 to tab 7, you'll see
22 a photograph that is orientated south-north, not north-south. And what
23 you can see here on the left-hand side, the white square, is a building
24 just above or just actually south of the battalion's base at Potocari
25 which would be just at the bottom of this picture. In the middle of the
1 photograph you can see white rectangles, which are buses, and then just to
2 the right of the big white blob but on the opposite side of the road there
3 is a building which is known as the white house. And what happened was
4 that men were being separated and processed in some way through the white
5 house with a pattern developing of buses leaving with women and children
6 and with men, the expectation being that they were going to go to places
7 of safety or be transferred to Bosnian-held territory.
8 The Dutch Battalion was only able to police the destination of
9 these buses for a very limited amount of time, I think some four convoys
10 and that was it, and the witness became extremely concerned about what was
11 happening to the men who were being processed not only because it became
12 clear at some stage that some nine men were seen to have been executed in
13 a field not so very far away from the white house, but also because it
14 became clear that although it was expected that the men would find their
15 way to Kladanj, which you can see on tab 2 on the left-hand side, such
16 reports as he was getting indicated that they weren't actually finding
17 their way there.
18 The witness took such steps as he could, including listing men who
19 were within the compound and faxing the names of those men to Tuzla and to
20 The Hague, some 251 of them, and I think nothing is known of what
21 ultimately happened to them.
22 The witness complained to a man called Colonel Jankovic about the
23 treatment of the men at the white house, and Jankovic, while making no
24 acknowledgements about mistreatment, nevertheless said that the VRS had
25 6.000 prisoners of war under their control, a number that, of course,
1 relates significantly to the numbers of people said, as the Chamber will
2 know, to have been killed in the course of the mass crimes at Srebrenica.
3 Being no longer in control of the position, DutchBat did what it
4 could but it didn't have anything like enough food and starvation was
5 simply facing them if they were to stay where they were for very much
6 longer. There was some water, but of course food for the 30.000 people
7 around was something way beyond their control, and indeed individuals were
8 committing and attempting to commit suicide while the situation developed.
9 On the 13th of July, paragraph 17, the witness contacted a Colonel
10 Acamovic. At that time they were the subject, impertinently, of a request
11 for fuel from the VRS, which they declined. But nevertheless, in looking
12 at the overall scale of the operation that can be revealed on that tab 2,
13 if you look at the -- or pay attention at some stage to the code
14 indicating burial sites and execution sites and so on, all a matter of
15 course for the Chamber to decide upon, but the witness's estimate is that
16 up to four or six brigades would have been required, I think, to mount the
17 operation of separating, executing, and disposing of all the bodies.
18 On the 17th of July, the witness met a Serbian delegation led by
19 Colonel Jankovic, dealing with some hospital patients, and he was obliged
20 at that stage to deal with a document which he required a field
21 translation, which again suggested in some way that the evacuation now
22 under way of the civilians had been handled properly. You can see that at
23 tab 9 in Exhibit 591, and the field translation is the fourth sheet in
24 where the witness, doing the best he could to limit a document that the
25 Chamber may think is cynical, wrote at the end of it in hand the words,
1 "As far as the convoys actually escorted by the UN forces are concerned,"
2 thus to qualify a document that the Chamber will see otherwise suggested
3 that there had been a proper evacuation of civilians.
4 I understand he will confirm that his making that note at the end
5 of the document infuriated a Serb lawyer who was present on behalf of the
6 VRS, but if I'm wrong about that, he can correct me.
7 That's probably all I need to say by way of summary of his
8 evidence before I invite Mr. Waespi to deal with the eight-minute video
9 which he and the witness can comment on together.
10 If I can take you at speed through the exhibits to make sure
11 you're sufficiently familiar with them. At tab 3 of Exhibit 591 is the
12 white house. Tab 4 is the list of men made by the witness, the best to
13 secure their safety. Tab 5, is the man Jankovic. Tab 6 is the rather
14 significant sighting of clothing and bags being burnt outside the white
15 house which lies behind this picture. Tab 7 we've looked at. Tab 8 is a
16 list of the wounded. Tab 9 I've dealt with. Tab 10 is Krstic.
17 If we go to Exhibit 592, the first tab is the full video which is
18 available and thus produced but we don't need to take time with here. Tab
19 3 is Lieutenant Colonel Karremans. Tab 4 Jankovic. Tab 5, Mladic; and
20 tab 6, Mr. Boering, who may be referred to.
21 Exhibit 593, Your Honours have tab 1, the witness statement, and
22 then you have some of the reporting at tabs 2 and 3 from Mr. Akashi. Time
23 deters me from -- or the limits of time deters me from taking you through
25 Then finally in Exhibit 594, the last tab, 38, is the very limited
1 range of comments by the witness in his adopting of various UNMO reports,
2 and I think the only one I would invite you to look at which are otherwise
3 an available record of events is tab 18 which goes back to events on the
4 11th of July and is a dramatic account from UNMOs of what was happening on
5 that day, and I read half a dozen lines: "At this moment the stream of
6 refugees and wounded is incountable any more. We figure that a total of
7 20.000 refugees came to the DutchBat Compound of Potocari already and is
8 growing steadily. Since our last report, the shelling of the town has
9 been going on despite the airstrikes. The town is in the hands of the BSA
10 by now, and the latest ultimatum given by the BSA is that if the
11 airstrikes continue, everything inside the enclave will be bombed, also
12 UNPROFOR and the other UN organisations. B Company has left their
13 compound in Srebrenica and is heading for Potocari."
14 Thus the build-up to this enormous disaster and crime, and may I
15 ask before the break, if I'm not being impertinent in suggesting that we
16 may have reached that time, the witness one question in relation to tab 2
17 on the first exhibit. If he could look at the map, please.
18 Q. And it's this, Colonel Franken -- actually, I think first of all
19 I've forgotten to confirm that you are indeed Colonel Franken.
20 A. Lieutenant Colonel.
21 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Franken, currently commander of the forces to
22 the north of The Hague. This map which we've looked at which has its code
23 indicating execution sites and matters of that sort, disturbed graves and
24 undisturbed graves covering over 40 kilometres. It will be for the Judges
25 in due course to decide, if they need to, whether these annotations are
1 correct and whether executions and burials occurred, but if this is a
2 correct reflection of the killing and disposal of the thousands of men
3 from Srebrenica, what scale of operation was it? What number of troops
4 would have been required?
5 A. This operation is the coordination and participation of civil
6 means as well. I mean transport means that, as far as I can judge, it
7 means above corps level, so that means Pale level to coordinate, to plan
8 this. So you need about two or three brigades, units to perform it, to
9 execute it.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That will be a convenient moment.
12 Lieutenant Colonel, could I remind you, please, as we remind all
13 witnesses, not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
18 MR. NICE: Before turning to the video, for assistance in
19 orientation, would the Chamber go, please, to 593, tab 4. It's now on the
20 overhead projector, I think.
21 Q. And, Colonel, does this show again south-north, not north-south,
22 the UN base, to the south of it, that's a little further up, the blue
23 factory that we saw on an earlier picture opposite the white house, with
24 lines of buses, seen as white oblongs on the road?
25 A. That's correct, sir.
1 Q. So those buses would have been going north, i.e., going towards
2 the bottom of the picture on their various journeys?
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I add one photograph that I intended
4 to add, and maybe this could become tab 5 of Exhibit 593.
5 The overhead projector, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 593, tab 5.
7 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
8 Q. Does this show Colonel Karremans about to present himself to
9 Mladic when the DutchBat finally withdrew?
10 A. That's correct, sir.
11 Q. You, I think, were right -- you were the last vehicle out?
12 A. I was with the last part of the vehicles. I was commander of the
13 APCs, the armoured personnel carriers.
14 Q. And were able to be able to avoid having to speech to Mladic on
15 the way out, by dint of that.
16 We see some civilians standing there. I don't think you're in a
17 position to recognise any of them yourself, are you?
18 A. There is just one I can recognise, that's the second from the left
19 in the light green shirt, this one.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. That is a person known to me as Petar. He officially was the
22 interpreter of the UNMOs, but actually was used as interpreter by the
23 Bosnian Serb side.
24 Q. But in any case the men standing at the time looking at Colonel
25 Karremans, you don't recognise them?
1 A. No, sir, I don't.
2 Q. And finally, I should have dealt with this: On the 17th of July
3 at your meeting when the ICRC were having difficulties getting access for
4 a vehicle of theirs across the border to Serbia, was Jankovic able to
5 clear their passage easily by a single phone call?
6 A. That's correct, sir.
7 Q. And the statement you made about matters which is the first
8 exhibit of -- first tab of 593, you made this statement on the 17th of
9 October. Was that true?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. NICE: Mr. Waespi now, please, for video.
12 Examined by Mr. Waespi:
13 MR. WAESPI: Your Honours, there will be about 13 small segments
14 out of video now exhibited 592, tab 1, and there is a transcript in
15 English which is Exhibit 592, tab 2 in English and B/C/S, but, Your
16 Honours, the video segments you will see are subtitled so you needn't
17 bother with this transcription right now.
18 The witness also explains what he sees on these videos in his
19 additional statement of 17 October, and that's now exhibited as 593, tab
21 If the first clip could be played, please, and that's Srebrenica
22 town, 11th July.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps, Colonel Franken, can you explain what we're
25 seeing now.
1 A. There was quite a massive panic in the civil population so the
2 refugees in the town, on the 11th they overran the guard of the base of B
3 Company and you see here them here crawling across our trucks, et cetera,
4 just to get out of there.
5 Q. If we could move to the second clip, and if you could please
6 comment on that as well.
7 MR. WAESPI: And, Your Honours, you can see on page 8 of the
8 summary the reference to the 13 clips we are playing. The second one will
9 be paragraph 6.
10 I believe, Your Honours, we have a slight technical problem.
11 JUDGE KWON: What is in an additional statement?
12 MR. WAESPI: If you look at the statement, on page 2 of it,
13 additional witness statement, it's dated 17th October, 2003. The
14 paragraphs 6 -- 5, 6 until 16 discuss these issues.
15 I'm sorry, Mr. President, but if you allow us, we have a serious
16 technical problem. If we could move on to cross-examination, and with
17 your leave we would like to play these clips later, if that's possible.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We don't want to waste any further time on it.
19 We'll return to it, and of course the accused will have the opportunity to
20 cross-examine on it in due course.
21 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, before I start the
23 cross-examination, I should just like to make a remark to what Mr. Nice
24 said, that allegedly I accepted some crimes in Srebrenica. How can I
25 accept something I know nothing about? What I do know is that the police
1 of Serbia, when it first learnt about somebody committing crimes,
2 Erdemovic, in actual fact, who was tried here, was arrested as soon as
3 they set foot on the territory of Serbia, and the accusation was that he
4 had committed war crimes. That's what I know.
5 Now, that I'm interested that the real truth be learnt, what
6 actually happened, who stood behind everything, yes, I am, very much so,
7 because it is in Serbian military tradition -- or, rather, to kill
8 prisoners of war is the most dishonourable act that anybody could do.
9 Now, the assumptions of what happened, if it happened as it has
10 been purported to have happened, then I said that that could have only
11 been done by somebody who was an enemy to the Serbs, to the Muslims, and
12 mad to boot. So I wanted to make that clear.
13 And, gentlemen, here you've been emphasising that the principle of
14 the public nature of the trial is being respected, and this testimony is
15 in open session, it is public, but I assume you're aware of the fact that
16 this principle in presenting things in this way is cynical. What Mr. Nice
17 has just said --
18 JUDGE MAY: No. We're not here for speeches. We hear what you
19 say about your position as far as your defence is concerned and of course
20 we'll listen to that where it is of assistance. You will have, in due
21 course, the opportunity to make your defence, but we will hear when you
22 address us what is in dispute and what is not.
23 Now, you begin your cross-examination.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Mr. May, how much
25 time are you going to give me for this witness, for my cross-examination?
1 JUDGE MAY: You get an hour with this witness. He's a 92 bis
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I cannot cross-examine this
4 witness within the space of one hour. Even if I skim over all the
5 questions that I wish to pose very briefly. You know what happened. You
6 know --
7 JUDGE MAY: Let us waste no further time on it. If at the end of
8 one hour you need more time, you can ask for it. We will then consider
9 it. And it will depend partly on the amount of time that is wasted. If
10 you waste time, then you won't get additional time. If you don't, then
11 we'll consider the position.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Franken, without a doubt it is morbid to
14 calculate, using any kind of information, civilian casualties. However, I
15 would like us to clarify things and have the truth about Srebrenica come
16 out, beginning with the number of persons missing, number of persons
17 killed, and to the fact to see whether my belief is that if the crime took
18 place, what the extent of the crime was and that it could not have been
19 planned. It could not have been the political and military strategy of
20 Republika Srpska at all. And it had absolutely nothing to do with Serbia
21 and Yugoslavia.
22 So please, may I ask you to give me short answers to my questions
23 and help me clarify certain matters.
24 Tell me, please, Mr. Franken, do you remember that on the 21st of
25 January, 1995, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed restrictions with
1 respect to UN movement in the Bandera Triangle area and that the UN
2 battalion decided to ignore those restrictions, and on the 27th of
3 January, it took two patrols into that particular zone? However, the
4 operation resulted in a response from the Bosnians, and they held 100
5 people of the battalion as hostages from the 27th to the 31st of January,
6 in that period of time. Is that correct?
7 A. That is correct. Just have to remark that the situation of the
8 restricted freedom of movement in the Bandera Triangle already existed
9 before the 21st of January.
10 Q. Yes, all right. That just confirms what I've been saying. Tell
11 me, please, do you know that the army of Republika Srpska exclusively
12 responded to attacks from the BH army, and that at the end of 1994 and
13 especially in 1995, Muslim military activities in the area escalated?
14 A. I can't say anything about 1994 because I came down there in 1995.
15 In general, I had a situation given by DutchBat II, our predecessors over
17 While both parties were not cooperating with the UN, which means
18 not giving me the information who did what attack or whatever, I only
19 could observe that Bosnian Serb artillery repeatedly shelled locations in
20 the enclave. But there are two times that Bosniak, means Muslim, actions
21 outside the enclave were reported to me. It was once in the northern area
22 of OP Mike that's directly north of the enclave where one of my
23 observation posts four in the morning burning houses. Two days later it
24 was claimed by the BSA as a result of a Bosniak action.
25 And once in the area down south, south of Zeleni Jadar, outside
1 the enclave where the Bosnian Serb army claimed that seven of their
2 soldiers were killed by a Bosniak ambush in BSA territory.
3 Q. Well, do you remember that the attack on the village of Visnjica
4 in which the houses were burnt and everything razed to the ground, the
5 Serb houses that were there? Do you remember?
6 A. That is the action I tried to describe to you being north of OP
7 Mike. We asked the Bosnian Serb army to go over there and see what the
8 consequences were, because the only thing we saw was burning houses. So
9 what the damage, eventually killing or wounded on the ground were, I could
10 not confirm or have any idea about that because BSA didn't allow us to go
11 outside of the enclave.
12 Q. Well, did you know about the piece of information according to
13 which some people were burnt alive in those houses, Ljubinko Vujadinovic,
14 I have here, an old man who was burnt in his house, burnt to death. Did
15 you know about that?
16 A. No, I did not. And generally, I said before, I didn't know any
17 details about that. The only observation I got was from my own troops
18 reporting in the morning that there were burning houses. And trying to
19 get more information from the BSA side failed because they only took
20 contact two days later and said that we had to make sure the 28th Division
21 didn't get out of the enclave and didn't give, even on our request, didn't
22 give any further information, detailed information. So what exactly
23 happened in that village is not known to me.
24 Q. All right. Now do you remember that on the 28th of May, 1995,
25 when the forces also from Srebrenica massacred a group of woodcutters who
1 were there cutting down the woods outside the enclave, and I have all
2 their names. They were Serbs. Precisely by the members of the 28th
3 Division. Do you remember that particular attack?
4 A. If you could give me the area where this happened, it could refer
5 to the action reported to me south of Zeleni Jadar, but in this way and
6 with these details, it was not reported to me and so I do not remember
8 Q. You don't remember these woodcutters and that it wasn't an attack
9 at all on soldiers, although this wouldn't have been allowed in a
10 protected area either, and that people were killed. You don't have any
11 information about that?
12 A. As I said before, no, I do not.
13 Q. Very well, Mr. Franken. You just mentioned the 28th Division, and
14 it was in Srebrenica during the time you were there; is that right?
15 A. Originally it was all the 8th Operational Group but during the
16 period I was there it was transferred into the 28th Muslim Division.
17 Q. I'm asking you that because a previous witness explained here that
18 that 28th Division was established after Srebrenica was left, later on.
19 But your testimony is that while you were there in Srebrenica itself, it
20 came to be known as the 28th Division, transformed into the 28th Division;
21 is that right, Mr. Franken?
22 A. To my knowledge, that's correct. The fact that the name changed
23 and the organisation changed was given to us by the staff of that 28th
25 Q. Very well. Now, can you tell me, please, how many men that 28th
1 Division numbered, in view of the fact that you're a soldier yourself.
2 Could you give us some basic data about that 28th Division, the ones you
3 consider important as a soldier yourself to get an idea of the general
4 picture, the scope and manpower in that division.
5 A. Yes. As far as I we estimated, because we didn't get the
6 information from the Muslim side as well, there were 4 to 4.500 armed men.
7 They were organised in four brigades with a staff who had two HQs, one in
8 Potocari and one in Srebrenica. As I should estimate their combat power
9 was pretty poor, not due to the number of men but to discipline and
11 Q. That they were poorly disciplined I assume is borne out by this
12 piece of information, that there were a lot of internal clashes and
13 conflicts, mutual killings and looting within the enclave itself and
14 onslaughts on OPs of your battalion, and I assume you had information to
15 that effect.
16 A. I know of internal clashes and conflicts. I know of a brigade
17 commander killing two of his men in the end phase because they were
18 threatening one of our OPs, but looting I do not know. And onslaughts of
19 OPs, what do you mean by that?
20 Q. Were they attacked, the OPs? Were they attacked while you were
22 A. The OPs were attacked by the Bosnian Serb army in the end phase.
23 Probably you're referring to one man -- one of my men killed by the Muslim
24 division in the end phase. It concerns one of the members of the
25 Observation Post Foxtrot which was attacked by the Bosnian Serb army,
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 29010 to 29014.
1 withdrew and on their way back to the next position engaged a Muslim
2 roadblock where the gunner of the APC was shot by one of the Muslim
4 Q. All right. Mr. Franken, you say that the Serbs were active there.
5 The Serbs didn't kill a single one of your men, did they?
6 A. If I said Serbs in this case, I mean Bosnian Serbs. They did not
7 kill in the enclave. I had one casualty with one of my companies in
8 another area, Simin Han, caused by Bosnian Serbs.
9 Q. All right. But you're not testifying about that. And regardless
10 of the fact that you're not, was this your man and was that caused by
11 something that the Bosnian Serbs did? Is that how that came about?
12 A. If you refer to the enclave area there, I did not have casualties
13 as a consequence of Bosnian Serb action. As I told before, there was one
14 casualty due to Bosnian Serb action but again in another area, Simin Han,
15 Nasetna [phoen] front.
16 Q. And where was that? Where did that happen? Where was your man a
18 A. Was in the other Bosniak area, I'd say about 40 Ks, kilometres
19 east of Tuzla. One of my companies had a mission over there, the same
20 kind of mission we had in the enclave, and one of the members of that
21 company was killed, as described before.
22 Q. And who killed him? What happened, actually? Can you tell us,
24 A. Yes. He was part of a crew of an observation post. The
25 observation post was shelled by the Bosnian Serb army, and he died in that
2 Q. All right. Now tell me please, Mr. Franken, do you consider that
3 the protected area regime was not respected since this 28th Division was
4 there and that it launched skirmishes on territory under the control of
5 the army of Republika Srpska out from the area and killed people? I gave
6 you two examples. One was the village of Visnjica and the massacre of the
7 woodcutters. There were similar examples elsewhere, but was that the
8 standard practice, that they would leave the zone and enter into these
9 operations and crimes in the environment?
10 A. Basically, the 28th Division could not exist because the area of
11 Srebrenica should have been demilitarised and there should not have been
12 any Bosniak military formations in there. In fact, that answers your
13 question. If they are not supposed to be there, they're particularly not
14 supposed to perform whatever action under the cover of the UN battalion
15 being DutchBat.
16 Q. Well, in view of that fact, what you've just said, explain to me,
17 please, how are you able to state that in the few first months that you
18 spent in Srebrenica, and you say that in point 3 of your statement, that
19 there were very few incidents worth mentioning. That's what you say. And
20 that the humanitarian aspect was not catered to sufficiently because of
21 lack of supplies.
22 Now, was it worth mentioning what was going on and what you've
23 just explained to us was going on? Wasn't that worth mentioning?
24 A. Two things: You asked me whether the 28th Division had some legal
25 basis to perform actions in Bosnian Serb area. I answered that.
1 Secondly, what I stated there is on base of those incidents
2 reported to me. I told you before that I got knowledge of two actions of
3 the Muslim division outside the enclave. As far as I recollect, those
4 would have been in April and May somewhere.
5 So it's not a question of not worth mentioning. I didn't have any
6 information, and the information I gave about actions I mentioned.
7 And the fact that the humanitarian aspect was not catered to
8 sufficiently because lack of supplies had much to do with the fact that
9 the Bosnian Serbs had to grant the UN every transport of supplies every
10 time the UNHCR wanted to do that. There was quite some harassment from
11 that side, which meant that they didn't get enough supplies into the
12 enclave, not only for the civil population but for the battalion as well.
13 Q. Well, do you happen to recall, Mr. Franken, that for the most part
14 what the UNHCR sent in, or the UN sent in, for humanitarian purposes and
15 the requirements of UNPROFOR for the most part went via Serbia?
16 A. That's -- that's correct. As far as that came further, the route
17 normally was not through Serbia but directly through -- over the road
18 through Zenica. So from the area of Sarajevo, from the logistics base
19 there. There was a part coming from Zagreb and then through Serbia. And
20 I should say in Serbia itself the problem -- there were no problems. The
21 problems arose at the Serbian/Bosnian Serb border if we didn't have a
22 clearance for a convoy like that.
23 Q. So you didn't have any problems through Serbia anywhere, did you?
24 A. We seldom did. And as far as I know, UNHCR seldomly had problems
25 crossing Serbia in the direction of Srebrenica or in the direction of
2 Q. I think that the UNHCR never had any problems in Serbia, but we
3 can leave that for another witness.
4 A. That's why I said as far as I know, Mr. Milosevic.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Franken. Tell me, please, in view of the fact that
6 you're a soldier, is it true that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
7 prior to the beginning of the summer in 1995, was a strong military force,
8 I would say, and it was supported in terms of intelligence, materiel, and
9 finances from outside. In 1995, it numbered some 270.000 men, if my
10 figures are correct on the basis of what my associates have collected.
11 There was six corps, 112 brigades, 45 independent battalions, and of
12 course, tanks, APCs, artillery pieces, multiple-rocket launchers, et
13 cetera. Is that right?
14 A. Whether these exact figures are right, I can't remember. But in
15 the preparation for my mission in 1995 we got information, of course,
16 about the Bosnian -- Bosniak army as well, and it looked like a pretty
17 well structured, organised military force. And whether they were
18 supported in terms of intelligence, materiel and finances from the
19 outside, I do not know.
20 Q. You don't know anything about the support which even went
21 partially through parts of UNPROFOR? You don't know anything about that
23 A. No. You must consider the fact that I was in an enclave, pretty
24 isolated, on battalion level. So if you have a question like that,
25 probably you'll have to go up ranking in the UN whether they knew. I did
2 Q. I understand that, Mr. Franken. That's why I won't ask you
3 anything else about that. But as Srebrenica itself and the activities of
4 the Muslim forces out of the protected area, I assume we will agree it
5 cannot be viewed in isolation from the general context.
6 Do you know that the Muslim army had a plan of two stages which
7 meant, with respect to Srebrenica, linking the enclaves of Gorazde, Zepa,
8 and Srebrenica? Did you know anything about that?
9 A. I heard about a plan like that when I was back in Holland, which
10 means after, say, in July 1995. I did not know of a plan like that during
11 the period I was there.
12 Q. And was it part of the plan to gain control of the central Drina
13 River valley? Was that part of the Muslims' plan?
14 A. I don't know the details of that plan. Only thing I knew, that
15 there should have been a plan on the Muslim side to in fact relieve the
16 enclaves and add them to the Muslim area generally said -- described as
17 the Sarajevo-Tuzla area.
18 Q. And is it true that this division that was in Srebrenica consisted
19 of five brigades and mountain and police forces attached to them?
20 According to the information I have collected, there were -- the 280th
21 Brigade along the axis Potocari-Srebrenica, then the 281st Brigade
22 Pobude-Cerska. 282nd Zeleni Jadar-Bojna-Srebrenica. 283rd,
23 Podravno-Buje-Vigor; 284th, Ravni-Buljim-Milacevici-Potocari. And the
24 Mountain Battalion and police forces that were deployed in Srebrenica,
25 Potocari, Cerska, in the role of the reserve of the 28th Infantry Brigade.
1 Are you familiar with this entire structure of forces that they
3 A. Yes. The four brigades is according to knowledge I had, what you
4 describe as the reserve of the 28th Infantry, probably division you mean,
5 was -- it was known that Oric, being the commander of the 28th Division,
6 had a more or less special unit at his own disposal. As far as we could
7 see or observe, it was not organised in the battalion, for as far as
8 police forces are concerned, well, he used them as some kind of personal
9 instruments, but we never discovered a battalion structure in that group
10 of men under the direct control of Oric.
11 Q. And from the five brigades that I have listed, and this battalion
12 that you say was under Oric's direct control, according to my information,
13 the total numerical strength was between 10 and 12.000 men. Is that
14 figure correct, Mr. Franken?
15 A. The figure we dealt with was observations we did and observations
16 DutchBat II, our predecessors did, and then we came to the amount of 4 --
17 max 4.500 armed men. In fact of course the 28th Division had all men at
18 his disposal, but for my information or for my decision-making, it is
19 important to know how many armed men he has, and that's what the figure of
20 about 4.500 men.
21 It is -- to me it is not very probable that they had 10 up to
22 12.000 armed men.
23 Q. Very well, Mr. Franken. That is what you can tell us to the best
24 of your knowledge, that he only had about 4.500 men in this small area.
25 This is, after all, a respectable force, is it not?
1 A. It is. It is.
2 Q. In a report dated the 28th of June, 1995 -- this was the time when
3 it was necessary to strictly observe the safe area regime, I assume,
4 because we're talking about the 28th of June, 1995, in a combat report
5 285th of the East Bosnian Light Brigade, the superior command, that is the
6 2nd Corps of the army of BH, is told that the brigade has infiltrated nine
7 sabotage groups for committing sabotage in the rear of the army of
8 Republika Srpska, and the commander is boasting that in those operations,
9 40 Chetniks, as he calls them, were killed. Do you know anything about
10 those events?
11 A. No. We in general had a massive lack of intelligence, especially
12 of everything concerning actions or events we could not see ourselves. We
13 never had any reports from other units or from higher echelon, in fact,
14 what happened, neither from the parties concerned.
15 Q. Would you be kind enough, Mr. Franken, to tell me whether apart
16 from these forces of the 28th Infantry Division you had occasion to
17 establish the existence of any paramilitary formations in the enclave.
18 A. The problem was that the personnel of the 28th Division was not
19 recognisable by a uniform or something. They had parts of uniforms.
20 Later in May, some company-sized units had new combat suits. So whether
21 there were between those half military dressed men paramilitary
22 formations, I couldn't tell.
23 Q. So all the men with weapons you considered to belong to the 28th
24 Division, and you couldn't distinguish among them.
25 A. I should make a remark about the men with weapons. They did some
1 training but without the weapons because we -- if we got the opportunity,
2 we still tried to demilitarise until a certain stage. And in fact, your
3 statement that we considered all men operating in a military way to belong
4 to the 28th Division, that's correct.
5 Q. And is it correct that the Drina Corps, at the beginning of July
6 1995, was confronted with the danger of the 2nd Muslim Corps from Tuzla
7 making a breakthrough towards Srebrenica and them linking up with the
8 forces of the 28th Division in Srebrenica and Zepa and thus cutting in
9 half the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps?
10 A. It could be, but as an assessment of the Drina Corps - and as you
11 know I was part of DutchBat, not of the Drina Corps - this fact or this
12 threat was not known to me.
13 Q. And do you know anything at all about the activities of the 2nd
14 Muslim Corps from Tuzla towards Srebrenica at the beginning of July and
15 their preparations for that?
16 A. No, I did not. Again, we were enormously isolated, and not only
17 geographically but for -- as information concerns, as well. We were more
18 or less on an island over there.
19 Q. Yes, I can understand that. But those conflicts, did they start,
20 as my information says, sometime around the 6th of July, 1995, in the
21 morning when the enclave was narrowed down to the urban part of the town
22 and when the activities of the Muslim army from Srebrenica against the
23 Drina Corps were thwarted and prevented? Is that how things evolved?
24 A. Probably you refer to the wish of the 28th Division to launch a
25 counter-attack as opposing the Bosnian Serb attack in the area Zeleni
1 Jadar. We advised them not to do so, and they followed our device --
2 sorry, they followed our advice.
3 Q. Was it then that the 28th Division combat structure started to
4 fall apart?
5 A. In fact, it became pretty clear that the -- as I mentioned before
6 the lack of discipline and structure in that 28th Division. It became
7 pretty clear, let's say, around the 9th of July, 10th of July, when there
8 was an actual attack from the south in the direction of Srebrenica. Local
9 commanders did not keep up to orders of the division, et cetera, et
11 Q. Was it then, Mr. Franken, that there was a breakthrough towards
12 Tuzla and Kladanj by large parts of the 28th Division in groups of 1.000
13 or several hundred men under arms who were endeavouring to break through
14 the ranks of the army of Republika Srpska and to get to Tuzla and Kladanj?
15 A. As far as we know, we observed that there were no Muslim forces in
16 the area any more in the morning of the 11th -- correction, morning of the
17 12th. We were not informed where they were. And around the 13th or 14th,
18 we were informed that the 28th Division had performed a breakthrough to
19 the Tuzla area out of the enclave.
20 Q. Very well. Is it clear that this breakthrough by several thousand
21 members of the 28th Division breaking its way towards Tuzla and Kladanj
22 took place under fire? There was combat?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it then correct that a large number, since the whole
25 breakthrough operation was taking place in conflict, that a large number
1 of those men were killed in conflict, in combat?
2 A. Well, on my side it's more or less speculation if I base it on the
3 quality of the 28th Division, the number of armed men. The fact that the
4 Bosnian Serb army had his defence lines around the enclave, they have to
5 break through, and it's obvious that there should have been quite some
6 casualties; that's correct.
7 Q. So there is no doubt that a large number, or quite a number, as
8 you say, of them were killed in the fighting during that breakthrough. Is
9 that right, Mr. Franken?
10 A. At least it is -- it's logical.
11 Q. It's logical for me, too, because I can only observe it on the
12 basis of the data provided to me.
13 Now, could you tell me, please, is it true, but you do say in
14 paragraph 19 of your statement that the Operative Group of the division
15 headquarters no longer had control over their soldiers. Is that right?
16 They were in groups numbering 500 to 2.000 making their way through.
17 A. The first part of your statement is correct. I stated that they
18 had no longer control over their soldiers, and I mean in the period, let's
19 say 10th, 11th -- 10th, 11th of July, 9th, 10th, 11th of July. Whether
20 they had control during the breakthrough or the planning of the
21 breakthrough, I do not know because I didn't witness that.
22 Q. And is it true that in the night of the 10th of July, 1995, you
23 were still negotiating with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and not with
24 the army of the Bosnian Serbs? You refer to that in paragraph 21 of your
25 statement, let me just remind you.
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Is it then also true that instead of surrendering and acquiring
3 the status of prisoners of war, the command of the 28th Division chose the
4 worst possible solution for them in the military sense by ordering a
5 breakthrough towards Kladanj and in combat order?
6 A. Whether it was the worst possible solution, I do not know, but
7 obviously they chose for the breakout, that's correct.
8 Q. And the direction of their breakthrough, was it through Jaglici,
9 Buljim, Pobude, Cerska, Snagovo, Crni Vrh, Negovici, Bajkovac, and Nezuk?
10 Was that the direction, the route that they took in the breakthrough?
11 A. I heard about the details of the breakthrough when I was back in
12 Holland. In general, I understood, that was the information I had then,
13 they went up north. That means from the -- they should have been gathered
14 in the Slatina area, that is on the west side, the wooded area on the west
15 side of the enclave, and then due north. And going due north you meet
16 Jaglici, et cetera, but for the rest of the route as told to me
17 afterwards, I did not know at that moment what route they would take or
18 were taking.
19 Q. Very well. But you just knew of this first point that I
20 mentioned, but later I assume you established the direction they took. So
21 would that correspond to what I just said?
22 A. If you mean that I knew that I knew there was a breakout performed
23 by the 28th Division, yes. In that very moment I was told that they out
24 north. That is part of the route I described to you before, and that's
25 where my knowledge about that breakthrough ends.
1 Q. Regarding their movement, I understand that your knowledge ends
2 there, but do you know that wherever they could, they liquidated parts of
3 the units of the Drina Corps, not just parts of combat units but also
4 logistic units and civilians who they encountered along the way? Whatever
5 they could destroy and kill on the Serb side, they did. Did you know
7 A. No. I heard stories about it again when I was back in Holland.
8 Q. And do you know that at the time on the Muslim side there were
9 very many casualties?
10 A. I think I answered that question before. It is logical that there
11 are quite an amount of casualties if you perform an action like that, but
12 no figures were given to me or something like that.
13 Q. Very well. And is it clear from this that a large number of the
14 casualties that were victim of this armed conflict were later included in
15 the number of victims that were allegedly executed?
16 JUDGE MAY: Colonel, can you possibly answer a question like that?
17 THE WITNESS: I can't.
18 JUDGE MAY: So this is your account, is it; that the people who
19 were in the mass graves at Srebrenica were people who were breaking out?
20 Is that the -- is that the account we're to be asked to accept in due
22 THE WITNESS: The question is for me, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE MAY: No, not for you, for Mr. Milosevic who is putting
24 these matters. Is this the story, so that we know what it is that your
25 case is about this.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I do not have my version of
2 events or my case. I am endeavouring to help in establishing the truth in
3 connection with all those events in Srebrenica. I do not have my version.
4 I wish I did, but I really do not. On the basis of what this witness is
5 testifying, there is no doubt that there were large casualties within the
6 28th Division during combat operations. That is a fact that we have
8 Now, what share they have in the total number of casualties, I
9 cannot even assume now, but there is no doubt that there were very high
10 casualties during the combat operations.
11 I have no version of my own, Mr. May, nor could I have one.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. And these were operations when they were breaking through an
14 encirclement under combat.
15 Later on you studied the question of Srebrenica even later when
16 you came back to Holland. Did you know anything at all about something
17 that is stated in an interview granted by Hakija Meholjic, president of
18 the SDP of Srebrenica, in June 1998 in their newspaper Dani, as to how
19 Izetbegovic called them to come to Sarajevo and how he asked them, "What
20 do you think about the exchange of Srebrenica, giving Srebrenica in
21 exchange for Vogosca?" And they rejected it. And then Hakija Meholjic is
22 saying this, who is from Srebrenica, that apparently Izetbegovic told
23 them, "You know, Clinton offered me, in April, 1993 after Cerska and
24 Konjevic Polje had fallen, that the Chetnik forces could enter Srebrenica,
25 massacre 5.000 Muslims, and then there would be a military intervention."
1 Did you ever familiarise yourself with this strategy of
2 Izetbegovic's when he relied on Clinton and this major tragedy in
3 Srebrenica as a pretext for a military intervention? Do you know anything
4 about that?
5 A. Well, again I think it's important for me to emphasise that during
6 that situation, during the events in Srebrenica, I was on battalion level,
7 and yes, I read all kinds of stories when I was back in Holland in papers.
8 I do not hope that you are going to ask me what I did read in papers.
9 There was a hell of a lot because Holland was very concerned and very
10 occupied with the Srebrenica question.
11 So answering your question, I do not know anything about that more
12 than any other civilian reading papers.
13 Q. But in view of the fact that you were in Srebrenica and followed
14 the course of events --
15 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm going to stop this. There is no point asking
16 the witness, as he correctly points out, something that he's merely
17 followed later on. I've allowed you some latitude to ask him questions
18 about things which he'd read on his return, but you really must
19 concentrate on the matters he can deal with himself. He can deal with
20 what happened when he was there, but he can't deal with what he's read in
21 the newspapers. It's not worth the evidence, it's not worth the time,
22 something which somebody has read in a newspaper. So let's concentrate on
23 the evidence which he can give.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. May, and I'm not
25 asking Colonel Franken to talk about that, but this provocation of massive
1 deaths among members of the 28th Division is beyond doubt, and it is also
2 beyond doubt that all the victims in Srebrenica have been --
3 JUDGE MAY: It's all in dispute, and you're making a speech. You
4 can make your speeches in due course.
5 Now, time, as you know, with this witness is very much of the
6 essence. Do you have more relevant questions for him?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope I do, Mr. May.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm -- I would like to make it easier for you, Mr. Franken, to
10 find your way around in the answers, and I'm pointing to point 67 of your
11 statement, to help you. Is it true that a certain number of males had
12 already been taken away to that white house, as it was called, for
13 interrogation and that you sent a military observer from the UN there to
14 see whether people were being -- were disappearing, and he reported back
15 to you and said that he had seen the same number of people enter the house
16 and leave the house; is that right?
17 A. That is correct. That's what he reported to me. That's about
18 when he was about three hours in the beginning in the -- in or near the
19 white house.
20 Q. All right. And this running after members of the 28th Division
21 that had dispersed around Srebrenica and fled in different directions in
22 large armed groups, was that a legitimate and lawful military operation
23 that cannot be classed amongst any kind of incriminated action -- classed
24 as incriminated action of any kind?
25 A. Well, it's hardly to judge for me concerning the fact that --
1 JUDGE MAY: Quite right, Colonel. There's no need for you to
2 answer that question.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Franken, on that night of the 10th of July when a meeting was
6 held between the lieutenant colonel, I think he was, Lieutenant Colonel
7 Karremans, and the civilian and military authorities in the enclave, at
8 that same night at the marketplace in Srebrenica, there were another 1.500
9 men in uniforms and armed. And that is in paragraph 86 of your statement;
10 is that right?
11 A. That is the number that Lieutenant Colonel Karremans estimated,
13 Q. So the remainder was already on its way through the woods and
14 forests, attempting to break through?
15 A. More or less speculation. They were not at the moment not in
16 sight of Lieutenant Colonel Karremans.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I remind the Chamber that there's the
18 video that's available at any time. It will be about ten minutes.
19 JUDGE MAY: We have it in mind. Thank you.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I'm pointing out paragraph 86. Did you order -- issue an order
22 for the defence of Srebrenica and the next day you didn't see a single BH
23 soldier? "The following morning, we could not see a single BH soldier,"
24 you say?
25 A. I issued the order for the defence of Srebrenica, as I recall, on
1 the evening of the 9th, and when we missed, so to say, the 28th Division
2 was in the morning of the 12th. Correct: Morning of the 11th, sorry.
3 Q. And when what you say in paragraph 86 was it that you didn't see a
4 single BH soldier? When was that? The following morning, you say. What
5 date was that, that following morning?
6 A. That was after the colonel saw on the 10th those 1.500 men, and
7 the next day the mass of them were disappeared. That's why I said the
8 morning of the 11th.
9 Q. So on the morning of the 11th they weren't there any more. And is
10 it true that you heard that the BH soldiers were gathering to the east of
11 Slatina and the Buljinska ravine - and according to my information, that
12 is a very wooded and steep area - precisely in order to break through
13 towards Tuzla. And that's what you say in paragraph 86 of your
15 A. That's correct, only that came not to my knowledge on the morning
16 of the 11th already. That was later. We were just puzzled where they
17 were, and we didn't have any idea what they were doing or known with the
18 fact that they were planning or performing a breakthrough at that moment.
19 Q. And let me just read the last sentence in paragraph 86: "I also
20 heard that the BH army had suffered great casualties on an attack on the
21 eastern flank of the BSA positions." That's what it says in your
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Great losses were sustained.
25 A. Yes, that's what I heard.
1 Q. So in fact, what was going on was an attack of parts of the 28th
2 Division on that eastern flank of the positions of the army of Republika
3 Srpska; is that right?
4 A. I don't know details like that. Again, the only thing I heard,
5 and again it was not military intelligence or information but there were a
6 hell of a lot of rumours, so from the -- from all sides I heard the rumour
7 that they were gathering, et cetera, what I declared before or what I
8 stated before. Whether they were going on on an attack, what kind of a
9 flank of the army of the BSA, I do not know. Again, my knowledge stops at
10 the fact that they were gone and later on I heard rumours that they were
11 performing a breakthrough. The actual fact that it took place came to my
12 knowledge somewhere around 13th or 14th by information of Colonel Jankovic
13 who reported me that he had -- they had made that again -- sorry, I
14 correct myself. That the Muslim forces were trying to break through and
15 they made about 6.000 POWs.
16 Q. All right. You've just mentioned that, although I didn't notice
17 it in reading through the material, although I do have a lot of material
18 to get through, that's true, so I might have missed that part. But when
19 Mr. Nice presented his summary of your statement a moment ago -- but tell
20 me, who is Colonel Jankovic? You've mentioned him. Who was Colonel
21 Jankovic? What position did he hold or function perform?
22 A. He was presented to me as the colonel in charge of the withdrawal
23 of DutchBat, and anything about the withdrawal I had to coordinate with
25 Q. But you don't know what position he held except for being in
1 charge of your withdrawal?
2 A. No. His normal position was not known to me. I asked him for it,
3 but he didn't give an answer. Later, I learned that he was in the
4 intelligence department of the Drina Corps, but that is later on when I
5 was back in Holland.
6 Q. Very well, Mr. Franken. So I've just heard in the summary
7 presented a moment ago by Mr. Nice that Colonel Jankovic quite simply, and
8 I didn't believe my ears when I heard it, whether I had heard correctly or
9 whether that is what it actually says in your statements, that, "Colonel
10 Jankovic informed me that they had 6.000 prisoners of war and that they
11 would be killed."
12 Now, this man Colonel Jankovic, did he actually say that those
13 prisoners of war would be killed?
14 A. I neither recollect that hearing in the summary of Mr. Nice, but
15 he did not explain to me that they would be killed. He told me that they
16 had 6.000 POWs, prisoners of war.
17 MR. NICE: I never said that in the summary.
18 JUDGE MAY: This will be a convenient moment to consider the rest
19 of this case, the rest of this case as far as the witness's evidence is
21 The accused has had very nearly the allotted time. We will
22 consider what extra time he should have, and you want to play your videos.
23 It might be a convenient moment to do that.
24 MR. NICE: Yes, please, and we do indeed have another witness, of
25 course, here who has been inconvenienced for various reasons many times
1 before and we would be anxious to start him today if at all possible.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
3 Examined by Mr. Waespi: [Continued]
4 MR. WAESPI: If the next portion of the segment could be played,
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE WITNESS: Well, what you see here are our trucks coming from
8 the Srebrenica area arriving on the Potocari HQ. In that phase, we
9 originally were trying to evacuate the civil hospital in Srebrenica, but
10 we did initially not succeed because refugees overwhelmed our vehicles,
11 and as you see, hung on it. So we brought them away and then later, after
12 some terms of transports like that we succeeded in evacuating the
13 casualties from the hospital Srebrenica.
14 What you see here is the unloading of the people from those
15 trucks. This is at the HQ of DutchBat Potocari.
16 MR. WAESPI:
17 Q. Did you have sufficient means in terms of medication, food, water
18 for these people?
19 A. No, absolutely not. You should consider that the temperature was
20 about 30, 35 degrees Celsius. It was very hot. I had food supplies for
21 two days for the battalion, which means 400 men, and I had the maximum of
22 water I could produce because the whole water system in the enclave didn't
23 function. We had to purify it ourselves at 7.000 litres per day. If you
24 understand under those circumstances, humidity, et cetera, that a normal
25 not working man in good condition needs up to five, up to seven litres of
1 water a day, then you can imagine with 30.000 in bad shape, being
2 civilians, I did not have water. One of our arguments to not -- not to
3 make a military stand.
4 Q. Thanks a lot. If we could move on, and please comment on what we
5 are seeing now.
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE WITNESS: What you see here is a recording of the first
8 meeting between Colonel Karremans, the man in the back with the grey
9 moustache, with Mladic. On the left side you see Colonel Jankovic, on the
10 back left General Mladic, and on the right side the civilian is Petar, the
11 interpreter I described to you before.
12 Mladic now is bullying Colonel Karremans about the fact that we
13 shot at him.
14 MR. WAESPI:
15 Q. We are preparing the next clip. It usually takes some time.
16 Can you tell us who was present from the Dutch side apart from
17 Colonel Karremans.
18 A. That first meeting, my two liaison officers, being NCO named Rave
19 and Major Boering was present.
20 Q. What is the next portion we're going to see?
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE WITNESS: General Mladic. Due to the text, this is recording
23 of the second meeting on that evening. Then on our side Colonel
24 Karremans, our liaison again, and three representatives of the civilian
25 population, which we had to organise pretty quickly, were there and as far
1 as we can see to it, what he's saying, Mladic is addressing them now.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just have one comment to make,
3 Mr. May, in this regard.
4 JUDGE MAY: No. Let's play this and then we'll have comments.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it refers to this clip.
6 Mladic isn't saying "opstati" but -- to survive, but to stay. He has
7 misspoken and made a slip of the tongue. He says "opstati" instead of
8 "ostati," and then puts himself right, to remain there, meaning to remain
9 in Srebrenica or to leave Srebrenica, and not to survive, and the
10 translation was "survive," that's the word used, whereas he corrects
11 himself and says to remain. "Opstati," "ostati." You can take a
12 translator or interpreter and they'll be able to bear out what I say.
13 [Videotape played]
14 THE WITNESS: This is Mr. Mandic, one of the three
15 representatives, on his left and for the viewers on the right side, Major
16 Boering, then to the left Major Karremans, Petar the interpreter, Colonel
17 Jankovic, General Mladic.
18 MR. WAESPI:
19 Q. And we are waiting for the third clip. In this connection it's
20 the meeting on the next day, on the 12th of July, 1995.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE WITNESS: You see Mr. Nuhanovic, one of the three
23 representatives of the Serb population.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we hear the soundtrack as well,
1 [Videotape played]
2 THE WITNESS: And then seeing in front Mladic, to the left Krstic,
3 then the civilian Petar next to him, Colonel Karremans -- then-Colonel
4 Karremans I should say.
5 MR. WAESPI: And now we're moving on to the next clip, and that's
6 12th of July in Potocari and --
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: You see here a situation partly out of our HQ where
9 the area of the bus station, which you have seen on the map before, we
10 gathered about 25.000 of people, and we had about 5.000 on our compound,
11 on our base. We tried -- you see a red and white tape, and which we used
12 as the boundary of the area where the refugees were concentrated.
13 MR. WAESPI:
14 Q. And I believe you have seen General Mladic in that area giving a
15 TV interview; is that correct?
16 A. Not personally. It was reported to me but later on I saw a TV
17 recording of that.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Waespi, how many more of these do you have? How
19 much time?
20 MR. WAESPI: It will be about five more. Unfortunately, there is
21 always about 20 seconds to 30 seconds in between.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll play this one and then we'll break because we've
23 gone beyond the time.
24 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE WITNESS: Here you see the procedure, or the consequence of
2 the procedure of separating the men on the other side of the buses and
3 trucks. The women and children were brought to there, you can see them
4 there. And these are the men probably led to the well-known white house.
5 This is the other side of the row of the buses where women and
6 children are going to the buses.
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's a convenient moment.
8 MR. NICE: Judge Shahabuddeen's separate opinion is available;
9 paragraph 3, 17 to 20, and 23.
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
13 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. If the next clip segment
14 could be played, please.
15 THE WITNESS: What you saw there was a multiple-launch rocket
16 system that the Bosnian Serbs used in shelling Srebrenica.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: This is the recording of the interior of one of the
19 evacuation buses.
20 MR. WAESPI: Now we have three clips left.
21 Q. Perhaps in the meantime, how many Dutch troops were in Potocari?
22 A. In total I had about 310 men, but a major part of them were not
23 combat soldiers, sir. I had about 147, 150 combat-trained soldiers.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE WITNESS: What you see is one of our surgeons, Colonel
2 MR. WAESPI:
3 Q. And what was his function?
4 A. He was one of our surgeons of the mobile hospital we had in the
5 enclave, sir.
6 Q. And we'll see an UNMO in the next frame. Can you tell us what the
7 UNMOs were doing there?
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE WITNESS: This is Major, as I recall him, Kingori. He was one
10 of the two UNMOs stationed in the Srebrenica area, and he is one of the
11 UNMOs I positioned near the white house to control what happened there.
12 MR. WAESPI:
13 Q. And again to remind us what happened at the white house.
14 A. The interrogation, the first interrogation of the men after they
15 were separated from their families.
16 MR. WAESPI: And we see a last clip.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: What you see here is the road to the white house,
19 and what you see is, next to the goat, packs and bags taken from the men.
20 Later on, they were burnt.
21 MR. WAESPI:
22 Q. And the balcony?
23 A. This is the balcony of the white house where a couple of the men
24 already with or waiting for their first questioning by the Bosnian Serbs.
25 MR. WAESPI: That concludes the video part, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, in one of the clips, we saw
2 Mr. Mladic saying, "You can either disappear or survive." Earlier, you
3 said that Mladic had spoken and had corrected himself. Was it in relation
4 to a similar sentiment?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I saw on the first clip at the first
6 meeting when Mladic says either "ops --" he goes halfway into the word and
7 then he changes it to "ostati or nestati," which means "remain or
8 disappear." That was the first clip. And the next time he when receives
9 them, he did say "ostati or nestati," which means to survive, to prevail,
10 or to disappear. I don't know if you understand me, Mr. Robinson. But
11 this is quite visible. The first time he made a slip of the tongue and
12 corrected himself, but on the second occasion he does say "ostati or
14 JUDGE MAY: We've considered the time you should have. We've
15 decided 20 minutes more for you, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have to object. You said
17 that time was of the essence. That is a fundamental difference between
18 us, because I think that the truth should be of the essence and not time.
19 I haven't asked a single irrelevant question of Mr. Franken now for you to
20 be able to caution me. I am unable to cross-examine him in 20 minutes.
21 You can cut short, that is your right --
22 JUDGE MAY: You have not challenged, I don't think, any of his
23 evidence at all. It's true that I haven't stopped you because you get
24 some latitude, but all the questions you've asked have to do with the
25 Bosnians, as far as I can see, nothing about the Serbs. You may like to
1 ask some questions about that in the 20 minutes remaining. That is one of
2 the things that we consider when we consider the time you should have
3 available. If you use it to put forward counter-arguments the whole time,
4 that's a matter which we consider.
5 Now, if you have anything to challenge in this officer's evidence,
6 you should challenge it.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that Mr. Franken is speaking
8 to the best of his knowledge about events and facts, and I am endeavouring
9 to place that within the context of the allegations which the side
10 opposite is endeavouring to construe.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] So as not to waste time, Mr. Franken, let us make
13 a small digression as we have just been viewing these TV clips.
14 The first meeting between Mladic and Colonel Karremans, it is
15 given in tab number 4. I don't want us to play that once again, just tell
16 me, was it Mladic who asked for the meeting or was it Karremans?
17 A. During the end phase, we repeatedly request liaison to the Serb
18 side. As I recollect, the place and time of meeting with the Serbs was
19 brought to us by -- by -- through OP -- our Observation Post Papa who was
20 at the entrance of the enclave, and the first meeting Colonel Karremans
21 tried to postpone that but it was commanded at the time as it took place,
22 as I recollect correctly, it was 2000 hours that evening, and he was
23 surprised to meet Mladic there, because he thought he would meet somebody
24 else there.
25 So it is not exactly to be pointed whether it was on our request
1 or on the request of the Bosnian Serbs. It could be a reply to our former
2 requests, but I do not know. It was established through Papa where it was
3 said a meeting 2000 hours in the hotel in Bratunac. That's how it came to
5 Q. Yes, but as far as I remember, Mladic says, "You asked to see me,
6 here I am," or something to that effect. So I gathered from that that
7 Karremans had requested the meeting. Is it true that at that meeting Mr.
8 Karremans said that he had been in touch with the Government of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina which is requesting that the population be evacuated?
10 A. I do not recollect a text like that. I know that Mr. Colonel
11 Karremans expressed his concerns about the situation of the operation and
12 asked, that was at least his intention as he left the camp, and asked
13 about supplies, et cetera, et cetera, and other things, the
14 humanitarian situation concerning.
15 I do not know whether this tape covers the complete meeting. I
16 suppose it doesn't so -- I only was debriefed about that meeting. I was
17 not present, so I don't know exactly what who said.
18 Q. Very well. I hope we can check that by viewing the whole tape.
19 And as far as I was able to see, Karremans says that he was in touch with
20 the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is requesting that the
21 population be moved out. But that can be checked.
22 In paragraph 70 of your statement, you say that on only two
23 occasions you heard about alleged executions and that a soldier from
24 Company C had seen members of the Bosnian Serb army killing one man. And
25 in another case, Lieutenants Koster and Rutten found the bodies of nine
1 men. Is that right?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And is it true that there were armed conflicts with the army of
4 Republika Srpska on the road from Bratunac towards Konjevici? And there
5 were a large number of casualties along that road. You have that in your
6 examination of the hearing, the parliamentary inquiry. This is paragraph
7 35, I think. Otherwise, it is on page 5 of that document.
8 A. That is true. That was reported to me by the first escort teams
9 who were able to return to the HQ.
10 Q. Very well. None of your soldiers saw an execution anywhere, and
11 if they had seen it you would have been informed about it. So I link this
12 to the paragraph from this document I referred to, Royal Netherlands Army
13 Srebrenica debriefing.
14 A. Well, I said before that I heard about alleged executions, but the
15 C Company soldiers saw actually an execution, and the nine bodies found by
16 the Lieutenants Koster and Rutten were actually there.
17 From my other teams, I did not get any reports about actual
18 executions. The returning escort teams reported to me that alongside the
19 road -- and you said Konjevici, I suppose you mean the road from Bratunac
20 in the direction of Vlasenica -- they saw there a pretty large number of
21 casualties, of dead men.
22 Q. Yes. That is where the conflict occurred with the army of
23 Republika Srpska, along that route; is that right?
24 A. I suppose so, yes. That's correct.
25 Q. Very well. Now, tell me, do you know that on Monday the 10th of
1 July, the commander of the observation post received orders to coordinate
2 with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that that evening a conflict broke
3 out among BH soldiers upon which there were dead and wounded?
4 I draw your attention to this that you refer to in the debriefing
5 document on page 37. Is that right?
6 A. I suppose you refer to the Observation Post Mike. Mike in its
7 original position was under heavy shelling by the Bosnian Serb army and
8 got permission to withdraw about 400 metres. Doing that, they were
9 stopped by local Bosniak soldiers who threatened them with an anti-tank
10 weapon. The brigade commander of that north -- of that brigade of the
11 Bosnian army interfered and that resulted in his -- him shooting these two
12 men, threatening the OP crew and their APC.
13 Q. You say - this is on page 37, 358 - "Around midday there was chaos
14 among the soldiers of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and internal
15 fighting started again amongst them."
16 Was there fighting amongst themselves at the time? This is in
17 your debriefing document.
18 A. Again, I suppose this -- or this refers to the situation at OP
19 Mike. The fighting with guns in between them, there was quite a lot of
20 quarreling and fighting between them at other OPs as well, whether they
21 would allow us not or -- not to or to -- what do you call it -- take other
22 positions with our APCs. The only moment that there was reported to me
23 fighting in the sense of firing guns at each other was the situation in
24 the area of OP Mike.
25 Q. Very well. And is it true that there were abuses of UN uniforms?
1 Do you know that soldiers of the BH army, fully clothed in blue berets and
2 blue caps came 15 metres close to an OP and, acting as UN members, opened
3 fire on the army of Republika Srpska, so it appeared as if the UN had
4 opened fire on them. Is that correct, Mr. Franken?
5 A. Both parties used our uniforms, not only in the end phase but even
6 in the period before the end phase. The Bosniaks had a habit in trying to
7 attract fire to OP locations by taking positions quite close to our OPs
8 and then firing at the Bosnian Serb army; that's correct.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How did they get your uniforms?
10 THE WITNESS: Sorry?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm asking how did they get the uniform?
12 THE WITNESS: They got our uniforms by probably the OPs who were
13 left or overridden by the Serbs. There was quite a lot of equipment left
14 over. And where they were dressed completely in uniforms, probably they
15 came out of the abandoned compound base of B Company based in Srebrenica,
16 because of course you can understand, we were not able to take everything
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Franken, please, point 413 on page 45 of your debriefing. It
20 says literally: "Soldiers of the BH army fully clothed and with blue
21 berets, or blue caps, came 15 metres to -- close to our OP. They opened
22 fire from this position in the direction of the front line of the army of
23 Republika Srpska so that it appeared as if the UN had opened fire. In
24 this way, they endeavoured to attract fire from the army of Republika
25 Srpska to the observation post and in that way to draw the Dutch Battalion
1 into the combat activities."
2 This is in the minutes of your debriefing. It is contained there.
3 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. I'm not denying that. I'm just trying to get
4 several events in a time frame. As it stands there, as it is testified by
5 me as you refer to, it is correct. No doubt about it.
6 Q. Very well. Since it is well-known that nine Bosnian men were
7 killed in Potocari in the night between the 12th and 13th of July - this
8 is on page 48 of the debriefing - is it known also that it was
9 unestablished, that it remained unclear, whether the mentioned Bosnian
10 Serbs could be considered perpetrators because a soldier of the Dutch
11 Battalion heard from locals that the killing occurred because of a quarrel
12 among the locals. And you say literally: "It remained open whether the
13 Bosnian Serbs can be considered to be the perpetrators because a soldier
14 of the DutchBat heard from the local population that the killing took
15 place because of a quarrel among the locals. The DutchBat was not allowed
16 to remove the bodies."
17 Is that correct, Mr. Franken?
18 A. Yes. I'm trying to read back your question, sir. Just hold --
19 that is correct. It remained open because we didn't have actual proof
20 that the Bosnian Serbs did that. It is -- the rumour was that it was an
21 internal quarrel, but if you look to the location where it took place, if
22 you see that day, nine bodies were in a row all shot the same way, it's
23 very, very unlikely -- and as I say, I can't prove it, but it's very
24 unlikely that any Muslims were involved in that seeing the time that it
25 happened. In that period, 12 or 13th of July, we were not in control but
1 the Bosniaks absolutely were not in control as well.
2 And if I say in a former statement it remained open, yes, I mean
3 to say we could not prove or we did not prove that the Bosnian Serbs
4 actually did that.
5 Q. On the contrary. I was just quoting from your debriefing in which
6 it says that it occurred because of a quarrel among the local population.
7 JUDGE MAY: He's dealt with it. There's no need to repeat what
8 you've said.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And do you know that two soldiers of the Dutch Battalion declared
12 that they saw 500 to 700 bodies on their return from Nova Kasaba to
13 Bratunac on the 14th of July? This is on page 51 of the debriefing.
14 A. That would be the crew of OP Alpha, which has been in position
15 until the very end, and I know that they have declared -- I read it
16 myself, that they reported bodies, not these numbers, but bodies of which
17 40 or 50 loaded on a truck alongside that road. That's correct.
18 Q. Generally, the fall of Srebrenica, massive losses, civilian
19 casualties, everything that happened over there, I believe, was an
20 introduction to NATO military airstrikes. Wasn't that right?
21 A. I don't know. I can't judge whether that was the only cause, but
22 I know that one of the reasons that NATO interfered was the situation
23 Srebrenica, Zepa, Gorazde, et cetera.
24 Q. After establishing control over Srebrenica on the 11th of July,
25 did the army of Republika Srpska take measures to ensure controlled
1 evacuation of all those who wished to go and that this should be carried
2 out accompanied with necessary security measures?
3 A. If they did, I couldn't observe them, and the measures we tried to
4 take, and I mean escorting the convoys, were, as I told you before,
5 massively harassed and prevented by -- by the Bosnian Serb army.
6 Q. Do you know that for the evacuation of the civilian population the
7 special secretary of the Secretary-General Yasushi Akashi asked that this
8 be done on the 11th of July, a day before the beginning of the evacuation,
9 and he sent a telegram to you at headquarters presenting his own
10 suggestions. Achieve agreement with the army of Republika Srpska to allow
11 the population to go to Tuzla, and secondly, that the convoys to Tuzla be
12 escorted by UN personnel. You are aware of that, I believe.
13 A. Yes, correct, and it's not different from what I said before. We
14 tried to escort them by UN personnel, being DutchBat.
15 Q. If we have this in mind, that is the United Nations' position,
16 surely it is clear that the thesis that the army of Republika Srpska had
17 in a planned and organised manner evacuated the population from Srebrenica
18 within the framework of any plan -- cleansing plan of its own does not
19 stand. The evacuation was part of the UN plan and not of the army of
20 Republika Srpska; isn't that right?
21 A. Well, I don't see that it is clear, but that would be a
22 discussion. I -- in the statements you have from me, I already explained
23 why I think it was organised and why it was prepared, and saying that the
24 -- the fact that the UN by Mr. Akashi sends us a telegram that he knows,
25 or the population is allowed to go to Tuzla, et cetera, to me it's no
1 proof that it is clear that the BSA did not plan this operation.
2 Q. Very well.
3 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE MAY: We're going to give you another ten minutes,
6 Mr. Milosevic. Mr. Tapuskovic can then have ten minutes, and we then must
7 start the next witness.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Is it true that on the 11th of July, when they met at the Fontana
10 Hotel in Bratunac, that is Karremans and Mladic, that Mladic stated that
11 he did not intend to attack UN personnel and that the evacuation must be
12 done on a voluntary basis? Is that right, Mr. Franken?
13 A. As I remember it, his intention not to attack UN personnel, he
14 used that in his -- I'm looking for a word -- when he accused Colonel
15 Karremans of shooting at his personnel. And he, as I remember out of my
16 debrief, he proposed a voluntary basis evacuation because he gave the
17 choice, you can stay or go.
18 Q. That is what it says, too, in paragraph 43 of your statement, that
19 the evacuation must be on a voluntary basis. That is what Mladic said.
20 And I quote: "Mladic said the evacuation must be on a voluntary basis.
21 He wanted to talk to the civilian and military leadership of the enclave."
22 Is it true that Mladic was angry because the leaders of the BH army were
23 not present? That is also stated in your statement.
24 A. That's what I heard from Colonel Karremans, yes.
25 Q. And did he say that during the evacuation the International Red
1 Cross and other organisations would be present?
2 A. That again what I heard from my debrief from Colonel Karremans.
3 Q. I assume Colonel Karremans was telling you the truth. And is it
4 true that Mladic said that first the wounded, the elderly, women and
5 children should be evacuated as well as members of the Dutch Battalion and
6 that Karremans -- but Karremans did not agree with that -- wait a moment.
7 Let me just look at paragraph 62 of your debriefing. Mladic said who
8 should be evacuated first. This is on page 7, paragraph 4, of your
9 statement. "The wounded, the elderly, women and children, men and members
10 of the Dutch Battalion. Karremans did not agree with that."
11 A. Yeah, well, it is as I stated then, sir.
12 Q. Did Mladic say that the refugees would be taken in the direction
13 of Kladanj and that it was agreed that you would escort the refugee
14 columns, convoys?
15 A. As I -- as I recollect it, Mladic said that they could go anywhere
16 they wanted. The Kladanj area was commanded, so to say, as far as I
17 recollect the next day, and it was agreed that we would escort the refugee
18 columns. That's correct.
19 Q. This is what Mladic really said, page 0092495. This is what I
20 received from the side opposite. I think it is tab 2. He said he asked
21 for absolute cooperation. "The aim is not the civilian Muslim
22 population. I want to help you even though you don't deserve it, as a man
23 and as an officer, but I will do it for those children of UNPROFOR --" he
24 means the UNPROFOR soldiers -- "because I don't want their mothers to see
25 them in coffins. I want to help the Muslim civilian population which is
1 not to blame for what has happened, and that is why I would like to ask
2 you the following: Are you capable of bringing here representatives of
3 the civilian population? I would come to an agreement with them. You can
4 leave from here, all of you, or all of you may stay or all of you may die.
5 I don't want you to die. That is what was left out. I don't want you to
6 die," he says.
7 This was -- this is a transcript of the Karremans-Mladic meeting.
8 JUDGE KWON: If the Prosecution indicates the page number of the
9 English transcript.
10 While I'm waiting for the response, I have to note this for the
11 record that the passage the accused has referred to earlier, that -- when
12 he said -- when he asked the witness whether BH government requested a
13 withdrawal of refugees, it appears on the page ending -- on page ending
14 with the number 415 in the English transcript, and it is written that it
15 is not the BH government but BH command that requested such a withdrawal.
16 MR. NICE: I'm grateful for that. We'll still try and find the
17 other reference. We haven't found it yet.
18 JUDGE KWON: Let's go on, Mr. Milosevic, while we're waiting.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kwon, but let me say
20 before that, Mladic says - Mladic therefore is speaking - and he says to
21 Karremans, "You, Mr. Lieutenant Colonel, were duty bound in conformity
22 with the agreement to disarm the Muslims in Srebrenica, whereas you armed
23 them and were preparing them to go against the Serbs and you issued orders
24 to your troops to fire against my soldiers. Let me hear what you want."
25 And his response was: "If I can say so, they asked the BH forces
1 from the enclave during last month to give them, to supply them weapons
2 from points ..." and then there's three dots. This isn't included in the
3 transcript. "... pieces of weapons." And then Karremans says: "Yes, two
4 combat tanks, several mortars," and so on, but I don't have time to go
5 into that in its entirety.
6 Anyway, the point of all this is, and the passage you can't find,
7 he says, and I'll repeat the last sentence: "You can all leave, all stay,
8 or all die, and I do not wish you to die." That's what he says.
9 And then several pages later on, and it is L0092511, those are the
10 ERN numbers for me, on my copy, there is a discussion going on on behalf
11 of a delegation of the population. Camila is speaking, and then Mladic,
12 and he says: "It is your choice if you want to go. I'm not going to
13 influence you. I don't mind anybody who is not to blame or innocent. So
14 you can choose whether you want to go east via Serbia or into Serbia. I
15 don't mind. If you want to go to the west, then you can state your views.
16 You can tell us where you want to go."
17 So that is what Mladic says, and this is in the transcript with
18 respect to this departure, their leaving or not. And you have confirmed
19 that in your own statement when you say the wounded, elderly, women and
20 children, and then men and members of the battalion, et cetera, and then
21 the last passage that I quoted. So I assume you are well aware of all
22 that, sir.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now, my question is: Is it clear that the manner in which the
25 Muslim population was to be transported from Potocari and other areas and
1 the handover of weapons of this 28th Division was agreed at a meeting in
2 Bratunac on the 11th and 12th of July, 1995?
3 A. It was, as far as I know, a proposal that the population was
4 transported away from this area to any area of choice, as you stated
5 yourself before.
6 The handover of weapons of the 28th Division was not agreed upon,
7 was a demand of Mladic, as far as I was debriefed by my CO, and my CO
8 answered that we didn't have any contact with the 28th Division any more
9 and we did not know where they were.
10 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, this must be your last question.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That leaves many questions that I
12 haven't been able to ask, and this man was a witness there.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. But anyway, Mr. Franken, do you know that in the last part of the
15 main report of the Dutch government 2001 in point 10 it says literally,
16 "There are no indications that the action was launched in cooperation with
17 Belgrade either in respect of political or military coordination." Are
18 you aware of that?
19 A. I've read that, yes. I've read that, that's correct.
20 Q. Is that in keeping with what you know from that period of time?
21 Does it coincide with your knowledge?
22 A. At least for me, I did not have any evidence that it was launched
23 in cooperation with Belgrade. And again, I read all kinds of reports and
24 opinions and papers where all kinds of scenarios were analysed, et cetera.
25 Again, I do not have any proof that the action, being the attack on the
1 enclave, was launched in cooperation with Belgrade.
2 MR. NICE: I'm grateful to Ms. Wee for finding the first
3 reference; Exhibit 592, tab 2, page 0092426, and it's at the foot of that
4 page. I haven't found the last reference yet.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with the Court's
7 indulgence, may I get through one topic? I don't think it will take me
8 more than ten minutes.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
10 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] In the Blagojevic case, testimony was used by
12 Mr. Franken, and he was shown some passages from his report to the
13 parliamentary commission with respect to the Srebrenica investigation, the
14 lower house of the parliament in The Hague, a parliamentary inquiry on
15 Srebrenica in the lower house, and an officer who was one of Mr. Franken's
16 subordinates. May I ask Mr. Franken one thing first. I have photocopies
17 for Their Honours, but you've already spoken about this. "Our predecessors
18 told us that the zone hasn't been demilitarised when we assumed our duty
19 and took over from the DutchBat. We were told that there were about 4 to
20 5.000 artillery pieces [as interpreted] in the enclave along with the men
21 to go with it." Yes or no, words to that effect.
22 A. The word "artillery pieces" is incorrect. 4 to 5.000 small arms,
23 armed men in the enclave, that would be correct. Even now, 4 to 5.000
24 artillery pieces is nonsense.
25 Q. Yes. Yes, that's how I understood it. That's what it says in
1 your report. Small arms. I didn't say "artillery pieces."
2 And then you said something else later on, and I think you'll
3 remember, that information had arrived according to which a mysterious
4 aeroplane landed at the airport, very strangely, and that after that you
5 saw BH army soldiers being better armed and all of them had Kalashnikovs,
6 and that you characterised all that as being very strange. I think
7 "strange" is the word you used.
8 A. That's what I stated, yes.
9 Q. You said you couldn't prevent it, and OP Delta was on that section
10 of the road and when we heard about this transport, they changed their
11 route, and then you could not do anything to prevent the arms from coming
12 in; is that right?
13 A. That supposes that these uniforms and new Kalashnikovs came in by
14 what we call the pony express. OP Delta and Kilo were two observation
15 points in the southern part of the enclave we established especially to
16 have control of the Muslims in the southern direction. The point was that
17 we were controlling the original routes, but, yeah, well, threatens to be
18 a long story, but our OPs --
19 Q. I apologise. I don't think the rest of that is that essential.
20 All I was asking you is that you weren't able to prevent the convoy with
21 the arms passing by that way.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And then you go on to say that one of the tasks of the Dutch
24 Battalion was to supervise and see that no side passes the separation
25 line, crosses the separation line. Is that right?
1 A. Yes. We had to supervise the confrontation line; that's correct.
2 Q. And then you say, "What we did is we reported everything we saw.
3 This referred to fire from small arms and others -- in the enclave during
4 the night, and we -- the conclusion we made was that it was the Muslims
5 coming out again."
6 A. That was on one occasion, and that refers to the reported Bosnia
7 attack in the north, but in general it is correct.
8 Q. Thank you. Then you go on to state the following: "Many blue
9 berets had the feeling that the Muslims did not want to have their
10 protection there and that they -- they were using the presence of the
11 Dutch Battalion to engage in prohibited military activity." Is that
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Is the next portion right? You say that at the beginning of your
15 statement: "According to our rules of engagement, if we were to be
16 attacked, according to the principle of self-protection and defence with
17 respect to non-combatants, they could use our armed systems." Is that
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Now I should like to ask you, and we're coming up to the 9th of
21 July, and you say the following in that same statement of yours, that on
22 the 9th of July, an order was issued to take preventive positions, assume
23 preventive positions. Is that right?
24 A. Yeah. Of course I don't know the literal -- literally text, but I
25 look on the date. It is probably the order to defence the city of
1 Srebrenica, and that is not preventive positions but blocking positions.
2 Q. So those blockades were set up by you and your staff, as you say.
3 You issued the order to Bravo, to Captain Groen, to Bravo Company, Captain
4 Groen, and then you elaborated that plan; is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And when it came to actually who was in command of the battalion,
7 you said it was the operations centre, right, or operative centre?
8 A. Of course in command of the battalion was the commanding officer.
9 We had a division of tasks that -- which meant that I led operations in
10 between the guidelines given by the CO. The operations room is just an
11 analysing and information collection centre.
12 Q. In your statement to the parliamentary inquiry, you said that a
13 great portion of the staff of the battalion was in Zagreb and that the
14 head of the operation itself was in Zagreb, too; is that right?
15 A. That's right, and it should be chief operations, but that's a
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the Blagojevic
18 case, a witness was heard, van Duijn, who was subordinate to Mr. Franken
19 during those days. He was also questioned as a witness, and in that case
20 as a Defence material, Mr. Van Duijn's statement was used and it was
21 disclosed to us pursuant to Rule 68 exculpatory material, and it was
22 introduced into evidence in that case, but not everything was explained on
23 this subject matter. So I have to ask Mr. Franken a few more questions in
24 view of what he did over there to see whether they were things that
25 Mr. Franken knew about and whether what was done was done under his
2 Q. Now, in the parliamentary inquiry and the statement before it,
3 mention is made of the fact that General Janvier's corps in Zagreb
4 proposed the setting up of these blockades. Is that right? Or barriers.
5 A. That's correct, but those positions already existed in some
6 contingency plans we had.
7 Q. Mr. van Duijn also said the following: "That order was issued as
8 a green one." You know what a green order means.
9 A. Well, I myself gave it the type, a green order. What was meant by
10 that, we were there as blue berets only deterring military hostile action
11 and using the weapons in self-defence. The very moment that I got orders
12 to defend a city with the means I had, it would mean that the weapons are
13 to be used not only in self-defence but in order to apply to the order,
14 defend Srebrenica.
15 Q. However, I don't know whether you know about this, but Mr. Van
16 Duijn in the report said that the order was like this: "If fire was
17 opened at us, we are allowed to respond. First of all, shooting above
18 their heads, the Serb heads, and then later on directly at them. This
19 was, of course, part of the combat order by Captain Groen or, rather, it
20 was a green order --"
21 JUDGE MAY: There may be an interruption.
22 MR. NICE: Mystified as to relevance.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What was the relevance of this, Mr. Tapuskovic?
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, the next question will show
25 you why this is relevant.
1 JUDGE MAY: Just can you explain. If I ask a question, would you
2 be courteous enough to answer.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I will. Because it is in
4 that investigation, after what Mr. Groen said, and he lost his job and an
5 investigation was conducted into the matter because he said, he said that
6 the object of those barricaded positions was to attract fire to them from
7 the positions of the Bosnian Serbs, thereby to incite air support. He
8 wasn't conscious of that, but then he says, "Later on I came to realise
9 that that's what it was all about, that the Serbs were being shot at and
10 they were on the slopes of the various mountains in order to bring about
11 air attacks, airstrikes."
12 So is that what you understood as being the purpose of setting up
13 these barriers or whatever? Because you weren't camouflaged. A green
14 order means that you were to act from a shelter or behind a barrier and
15 that you tried to do so as the witness says. Was that how it was?
16 A. At first my order was to defend a city, and later on we heard that
17 the strategic idea, or in Zagreb at HQ UNPROFOR was to attract fire from
18 the blocking positions, so airstrikes could have been allowed is not an
19 element in decision-making on 10/11, at that moment. So normally we --
20 what I -- again what I tried to explain to Captain Groen is that he was,
21 if necessary, by use of all his weapons systems, to stop the Bosnian Serb
22 army on the southern edge of Srebrenica.
23 Q. But don't you know that van Duijn issued an order that the Serbs
24 should be shot at precisely at the moment when he saw them somewhere far
25 off on the mountain slopes? The artillery was at 10 to 15 kilometres
1 away, and van Duijn states that precisely. The people were on the tops of
2 mountain slopes and that's when the order to shoot was given, and they did
3 shoot. And that's what Mr. van Duijn says.
4 MR. NICE: I'm very slow to object but I really must protest. I
5 simply fail to follow the relevance of this.
6 JUDGE MAY: I think this must be the last question. Perhaps you
7 could answer, if you can.
8 THE WITNESS: I can, Your Honour. Mr. van Duijn repeated an order
9 I gave, but there was no reaction time on that Serb infantry before they
10 entered the city. And when I have dismounted infantry in a city, I have a
11 major military problem. To be short, the only thing we could do is try
12 to, by firing, prevent them from entering the city. I think I can keep it
13 to this otherwise I'll get very tactical and military technical, sir.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you very much. Yes.
15 MR. NICE: Five questions only.
16 JUDGE MAY: We really are so short of time. Thank you.
17 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
18 Q. Mladic's ultimatums that we've seen on the video, what did that
19 show about his level of control?
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, but you gave me the
21 right to ask one more question, I believe. Your Honour, please.
22 JUDGE MAY: I think you've had a quarter of an hour. We really
23 must -- this case must move along. What is your final question? What is
24 the question? What is the question, so we can hear it.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Several days prior to that, the
1 Muslim side killed a Dutch soldier and nothing was -- no steps were taken.
2 Q. Now, my question is the following: In all this when the Serbs
3 were approaching the positions from which they were fired at, was anybody
4 wounded on the DutchBat side, whereas they were being shot at?
5 A. Shortly before my position Bravo 1 Bravo was shot at by a Serb
6 tank and I had four injured on that position and I had to leave that
7 position to another place. That's one.
8 Secondly, yes, Muslim side killed one of my soldiers. Problem was
9 that then my orders were still in the UN mandate and I was only to use my
10 weapon systems in self-defence. The order to defend the city of
11 Srebrenica was a normally military order, and in fact theoretically we
12 could throw away our blue berets, put on our red berets, and start a
13 fight. That's the difference, sir.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
16 Q. Colonel Mladic's ultimatums, what do they show about his level of
18 A. Yes. I'm sorry. I'm thinking. Once in awhile I do. Well, in
19 fact he was Supreme Commander, so it does not mean that -- no, it does not
20 show that he was locally in tactical control, but it shows that he was in
21 operational control.
22 Q. Akashi recommended evacuation. What was the reason, risk or
23 threat that led to that?
24 A. I think both, and risk for the -- in the sense of the humanitarian
25 situation. And threat, well, we had those threats of General Mladic and
1 he showed that he was very willing to practice them in former locations,
2 for instance, the shelling of the city.
3 Q. The accused suggested that the proper course would have been for
4 people to have surrendered and become prisoners of war rather than to
5 break out. Did those who broke out survive?
6 A. As far as I know, a part of them, sir.
7 Q. Did those who would have stayed as prisoners of war survive, to
8 your knowledge?
9 A. As far as I know, they did not, sir.
10 Q. Thank you. Stealing of APCs and clothes from your battalion, was
11 this evenhanded as between Muslims and Serbs or did one side do this much
12 more than the other?
13 A. We never had thefts of APCs by the Muslims. In the end phase, it
14 is possible that Muslims got hold of some of our uniforms, as I said
15 before, by the remnants of the OPs formerly attacked by the BSA. The only
16 ones who had -- stole APCs and jeeps from us were the Bosnian Serb army,
18 Q. Finally, you've been asked a number of questions about what you've
19 read, accounts given. Have you ever read any explanation from Mladic
20 himself advanced as to the disappearance of these people?
21 A. No, I did not, sir.
22 Q. Very well.
23 MR. NICE: Nothing else of this witness. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Franken, that concludes your evidence. Thank
25 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we'll sit until 2.00, if that's of any
4 assistance to the next witness.
5 MR. NICE: It certainly is. May he be brought in immediately by
6 the usher. The next witness, please.
7 He's protected and therefore we need the blinds down. Perhaps
8 while the -- could we go into private session while the blinds come down
9 and --
10 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time.
11 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we're in open session.
13 MR. AGHA: The Prosecution would like to call Witness B-1524, with
14 the permission of the Chamber
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, B-1524.
16 MR. AGHA: As Your Honours are aware, this witness has protective
17 measures and he's also a 92 bis witness. So as soon as he's in, if we
18 could perhaps exhibit his bis package.
19 JUDGE MAY: We'll get a number for the package now.
20 MR. AGHA: Thank you.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The next Exhibit number is 595.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
2 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1524
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 MR. AGHA: Could Witness 1524 kindly be shown his pseudonym sheet,
5 which Your Honours will find at tab 1.
6 Examined by Mr. Agha:
7 Q. Witness 1524, can you kindly look at the sheet and confirm that
8 that is your name on the sheet.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Witness 1524, it's correct that you gave a statement before the
11 Office of the Prosecution, which has subsequently been certified by the
12 Registry. Could you kindly look at the statement in front of you and
13 confirm that that is in fact your statement.
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. AGHA: Your Honours, since Witness 1524 --
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Under seal, yes.
17 MR. AGHA: -- is a 92 bis witness, although I've prepared quite a
18 detailed summary, due to the shortage of time, what I propose to do is
19 just touch upon the real highlights of that.
20 So in essence, the witness's summary is that he was a Serb who was
21 born in Serbia and had been living in Zvornik for the past 20 years. He
22 had good relations with both the Serbian and Muslim communities, so on the
23 suggestion of the SDA, he was asked to join the SDS in order to try and
24 make sure things went smoothly.
25 At the first meeting he attended, which was headed by Mr. Brano
1 Grujic who was president of the SDS, and the other cream of the Zvornik
2 municipality, he left, saying that he did not want to be in the company of
3 extremists and thieves and associated with Grujic. He left the meeting.
4 In about February of 1992, he was again called by the SDS
5 leadership to the military headquarters in Celopek. Present at that
6 meeting were two regular JNA officers from Tuzla. One was a captain and
7 the other was Lieutenant Sekanic who became in charge of a tank unit in
8 Celopek. There were also 20 to 30 other JNA officers present.
9 At this meeting, the object was to form a Serbian Zvornik Brigade.
10 The Serbs were organised by the JNA where the SDA had to be organised by
11 their local leadership. The witness was put in command of approximately
12 690 TO soldiers. At that meeting, the witness asked what the objectives
13 of the brigade was. He was told that it was to defend against any attack
14 from the Muslims, but if things turned out differently, it was none of his
16 The witness asked Grujic what would happen to those Serbs who
17 remained in Zvornik. Grujic told him that if they did not move out, then
18 they would also be killed when the Serbs attacked.
19 The witness came to learn there was a large stock of military
20 weapons and mortars in Mali Zvornik which had come from the military depot
21 at Bubanj Potok in Belgrade. After the meeting the SDS organised the
22 distribution of weapons to the local Serbs through the managers of
23 businesses, factories, and municipal organs. Indeed, many Serb families
24 left Zvornik in anticipation of the oncoming hostilities.
25 The SDA tried to encourage the witness to rejoin the SDS to
1 protect their interests. The witness agreed to do so, and on the way into
2 the headquarters saw at a checkpoint that there were armed men who were
3 dressed similarly, spoke in Belgrade accents, and were greeted by the
4 others there. He was told at the checkpoint that these were Arkan's men,
5 whilst the men in the jeep belonged to a paramilitary group known as
6 Mirko Jovic's group. At that point the witness realised that he could not
7 go and join the Serbian TO because he knew that he'd have to kill people,
8 and he would have no control over this.
9 On 8th of April, small-arms fire commenced in Zvornik. The
10 witness crossed over into Mali Zvornik where heavy shelling started from
11 Mali Zvornik in Serbia into Zvornik.
12 The next morning, the witness observed a Serbian flag flying from
13 the main mosque in Zvornik with Serbian music being played from its
14 minarets. It is now that the cleansing of the town started, that is, the
15 killing of the male inhabitants.
16 The witness could clearly see on the other side of the Drina armed
17 soldiers wearing black uniforms entering apartments, some of whom he later
18 heard had killed many people in Filipa Kljajica street.
19 Later, the witness was arrested in Mali Zvornik, Serbia. He
20 complained to the local police as to why he was being arrested in Serbia
21 to be taken to Bosnia. They told him that this could be cleared up later.
22 He was taken to the Alhos factory in Zvornik where Brano Grujic
23 was there, who cursed him, kicked him between his legs. A major who was
24 then one of Arkan's deputies and whom he believes was called by Markovic,
25 entered, punched him in the head, and told him that he would kill him
1 personally. The major seemed to be in charge and shouted at Grujic for
2 allowing people to so easily enter the headquarters. The major told
3 Grujic that this was no way to wage war and that, if this continued, he
4 would take away his 3.800 pieces of artillery.
5 The witness was then taken to the Alhos factory. He was told that
6 he would be -- have to be made an example of and killed.
7 When he was taken into the Alhos factory, he was detained with 20
8 other Muslim detainees from Zvornik. He waited to be interrogated.
9 Whilst he was waiting, he could hear the screams of the other people from
10 his room who were taken out and also interrogated. When they were
11 returned to the room, they were dumped on the floor, bleeding, unconscious
12 and some of them were dying. He was the last person to be taken for
13 interrogation. He was taken by TO soldiers but the actual interrogation
14 was carried out by Arkan's men. When the witness explained that he was a
15 Serb and that he was only there because he had been too frightened to say
16 when he was stopped, their attitude changed towards him. They then took
17 him out of the room, gave him a sleeping bag, and he was able to lie down
18 with 15 or 20 other of Arkan's men who were lying there fully armed,
19 waiting for morning.
20 In the morning, the witness realised his only chance of escape was
21 when he saw Arkan actually in the Alhos building where the SDS Crisis
22 Staff was staying. He approached Arkan and said that he was a Serb and
23 had been taken there by mistake and he was a driver of a lorry and needed
24 to carry on. Arkan told him to leave, it was okay.
25 When one other driver who was with him asked him what would they
1 do without papers, Arkan simply said, "Tell the people at the barricades
2 that Arkan has let you go."
3 In this way the witness was able to make his escape from Zvornik,
4 made his way to Serbia where he was informed by his family that the local
5 MUP in Serbia had received a fax from Zvornik stating that he'd be
6 arrested and returned to Zvornik. The witness was also told that three
7 Serb military policemen were looking for him.
8 Now, with the permission of the Chamber, I would just like to ask
9 the witness one question orally which I kindly ask --
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. AGHA: -- the witness to answer, please.
12 Q. Now, Witness 1524, you mention in your statement that you saw men
13 in black uniforms and clothes on the other side of the Drina going into
14 and attacking various apartments. Were you able to recognise from which
15 paramilitary group this -- these people came from?
16 A. I am not getting the interpretation.
17 Q. I'll just repeat the question for you. The question is: When you
18 were on the other side of the Drina, you saw men dressed in black
19 paramilitary-type uniforms entering buildings. Were you able to tell from
20 which paramilitary unit these men belonged?
21 A. Certainly. They belonged to Arkan's units, because the previous
22 day, before the fighting started, I saw them in the region of Karakaj,
23 across the bridge when you enter Bosnia. And later I saw them also when I
24 was arrested. They were wearing those same uniforms as those men.
25 Q. How far away were you on the other side of the Drina and how good
1 a view did you have of these men?
2 A. It could have been about 100 to 150 metres on the outside, and
3 that is quite close enough to see the uniform clearly and the man.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. AGHA: That would conclude the examination-in-chief.
6 JUDGE MAY: We have to adjourn now. Witness B-1524, I'm sorry we
7 can't finish your evidence. We have to adjourn now. I gather this is not
8 the first time that you've been much inconvenienced in giving evidence.
9 I'm sorry that's so, but we will try and finish on the next occasion, next
10 Tuesday, when you come back. If you would, please, be back at 9.00 then
11 and we will try and finish your evidence.
12 Could you remember during the adjournment not to speak to anybody
13 about your evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of
14 the Prosecution. Could you be back then.
15 We will adjourn now until Tuesday morning.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of
18 November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 29071 to 29080.